8 Above Independent Film Distribution



Every film and filmmaker is different. Your distribution goals are as unique as the film you made. This is what gets us excited – finding the precise methods that will work best for you and your film.

Jon and the team are not just distribution specialists – we are also filmmakers ourselves. We understand firsthand the challenges you face in today’s increasingly cutthroat, ever-changing distribution landscape. We bring a filmmaker’s mindset to our collaborative approach working alongside our filmmakers throughout all stages of a release, fostering an ethic of resourcefulness, empathy and care, adding clarity and lightness to what can otherwise be a daunting and stressful process.

Our emphasis on building and harnessing impactful relationships is central to our work. We work closely with you to get to know your film, your unique goals, and your artistic vision inside and out. We collaborate with you on an actionable plan that will position your film to stand out, resonate deeply with audiences, and create real-world impact – all while remaining faithful to your ethos, aesthetic, and values.

Importantly: 8 Above helps you to distribute your film, but you will always retain all rights to your film.

8 Above Independent Film Distribution Made Simple
8 Above Independent Film Distribution Made Simple
Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte

“There are few consultants, in any field, who are primarily motivated by love — but in Jon’s case, it clearly his love of film that motivates him to do his work. This makes him a passionate, invaluable resource for filmmakers looking to find their audience.”

The Kids Are All Right, Thirteen, Laurel Canyon


Jon Reiss

Founder 8 Above

8 Above Independent Film Distribution

JON REISS is a critically acclaimed filmmaker, author, and media strategist whose experiences successfully self releasing his second documentary feature, “Bomb It” led him to want to teach others how to distribute and market their films

Since then, Jon has led workshops, spoken at conferences, and written a book entitled: Think Outside the Box Office, which was the first ever step-by-step guide to alternative distribution and marketing in the U.S. He is now thought of as one of the leading foremost experts on the split rights distribution and marketing of films both here in the States and globally.

For the last 15 years, under the auspices of banner 8 Above, Jon has helped dozens of filmmakers, companies and organizations successfully connect with audiences and profitably release their films; he has consulted for Paramount Pictures, Screen Australia, Film In-dependent, Creative Scotland, The South Australian Film Corporation and numerous film schools and festivals and was one of the founding creators of the IFP Filmmaker Lab. Jon is a frequent contributor to Filmmaker Magazine, Huffington Post, Indiewire, Screen Daily, and Moviemaker Magazine.

A graduate of UCLA filmschool, Jon got his start in filmmaking and distribution at the infamous San Francisco documentary collective Target Video. He not only shot seminal bands such as Black Flag, Iggy Pop, Throbbing Gristle, The Cramps, TSOL but was one of the first – if not the first person to conceptualize and execute video tours throughout Europe, carting 500 lbs of video deck and projector in a VW Bus across 15,000 miles.

Stephanie is a documentary filmmaker with over a decade of experience in the industry.

Born and raised in Colorado, Stephanie built her career at Kartemquin Films in Chicago, having recently moved back to her home state. She has worked across every phase of the filmmaking process, including development, production, post-production and distribution.

Stephanie’s primary focus is outreach and impact for social-issue documentaries. She specializes in using grassroots methods that transform films into engagement tools for positive change.

Recent collaborations include “For the Left Hand” from Kartemquin Films, Lucia Small’s final film “Girl Talk,” Joe Winston’s “Punch 9 For Harold Washington” and the award-winning “Subject.”

Stephanie Sunata

Impact Producer

Nora Poggi

Impact Producer

Nora is a French journalist, filmmaker, and impact producer based in Brooklyn. She co-directed and produced SHE STARTED IT alongside Insiyah Saeed, an award-winning feature documentary about women tech entrepreneurs. She is a TEDx speaker and has been featured in NYT’s Women in The World, Inc Magazine, Forbes, Fast Company, Glamour, Huffington Post and others. She spearheaded the impact distribution campaign for SHE STARTED IT, and currently works as an impact producer, independent producer, and as host/producer of the “Creative Distribution 101” podcast. Past and current projects include HBO’s THE TALE, the award-winning movie on women chefs A FINE LINE, Tribeca Gucci Grant recipient A PLACE OF ABSENCE, and MTV Docs’ ART & KRIMES BY KRIMES.

8 Above Independent Film Distribution Made Simple


Throughout every culture, in every mythology, and even within the art of filmmaking itself, sunrise and sunset are imbued with special significance. We work with filmmakers in transition, and these magic hours perfectly encapsulate our work. They occur when the sun is between 6 and 12 degrees above the horizon. ‘8’ falls right in between, holding a particular resonance to success and infinity – in other words, boundless possibility – which is the very thing we help filmmakers achieve with their films.



Think Outside The Box Office by Jon Reiss