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Film self-distribution

Self-distribution is a term that has been mentioned more and more in the film industry and is something that has become a less scary alternative for independent filmmakers. So what exactly is film self-distribution?

This post builds on our earlier posts what is film distribution and its process, and is dedicated to the subject of self-distribution.


What happens when you have a finished movie that you have toured the festival circuit with, but it has not received the critical attention or ovation that you predicted it would get? Many filmmakers go through this charade. They go to different festivals. They screen their movies. Maybe they have received a prize but do not get that desired contract with a distributor or an international sales agent. They are knocking on a thousand of doors along the way and only receive NO’s in return. In the end, they wind up feeling disappointed and disillusioned. Even worse, they also have a film that they don’t know if it will see the light of day.

This point is usual the crisis-point where self-distribution is considered. The film deserves to be seen and reach its final audience. The team will have a lot of work to do to carry out the distribution. Now the producers are transformed into the distribution team, and now they need to analyze the different possibilities to release the film. The most recurrent distribution is to release in movie theaters or via VOD.

Traditional distribution is often the most difficult, but at the same time is what everyone wants. It is true that now the range of options has been opened and there are other ways to bring your film to the public, everything depends on the effort and money you want to invest. Since a release in cinemas is much more expensive than a release on TV or VOD.

Steps to self – distribution

  1. Identify the audience
  2. What kind of release do you want?
  3. Budget
  4. Release date
  5. Negotiation. Whether it’s movie theaters or a VOD platform
  6. Marketing plan
    1. Public Relations
    2. Social media
    3. Screeners and events
    4. Promotions
  7. Release (Big day!)
  8. Continue with the promotion of the film at least the first week of the premiere
  9. Expect box office results

The firs week, if the release is in movie theaters, it’s crucial in order to know if the movie keeps running in cinemas following weeks.

This is just a light taste of all that leads to self-distribution. Besides, people involved will have the total freedom to comment and do what is best for the movie.

Do you want to learn more about self-distribution?. At RosssCammm Films Distribution Consultancy we are preparing a launch for the beginning of 2017 with information on film distribution, where you can learn more about this and many other topics. Subscribe to our mailing list in the box below and help us to answer this survey.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Sivagiri

    Film self distribution is quite informative. Nicely narrated.

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