Here are the first paragraphs of part one of the No Small Matter release case study. You can find the full article here.
No Small Matter - Six Tips for A Successful Grassroots Release
Written by Laura Wilson Fallsgraff and Jon Reiss
The past year has thrown everything but the kitchen sink at filmmakers, disrupting distribution timelines, cutting the legs out from under theaters, and depriving our community of opportunities for networking, sales, and press. But there have also been bright spots. While contending with major disappointments this year, many filmmakers have successfully pivoted to unique and impactful releases — models that are worth learning from and iterating on in the years ahead.
It’s tempting to reminisce upon the “before COVID” times with rose-colored glasses, but independent filmmakers were struggling to get by long before 2020. Following its completion in 2018, our own feature documentary No Small Matter had run into the familiar distribution hurdles faced by many other filmmakers. When we conceived of this impact-driven documentary about the importance of high quality early childhood education (ECE) in America, we knew it wouldn’t be a festival darling. Yet despite positive reviews (100% on Rotten Tomatoes) and grassroots energy around the project, nearly a year with a sales agent yielded no results. And then COVID hit, weeks before a nationwide theatrical release in partnership with Abramorama. An outside observer might have assumed that we were, well… screwed.
Yet without those traditional markers of success, No Small Matter has reached millions of people all over the world through more than 1,300 grassroots screenings, DIY educational distribution and 13 million social media impressions.
Read the rest of the article here in Filmmaker Magazine. Part two coming next week.