Other News

by | February 3, 2024 | Newsletter

Distribution Advocates has started a podcast where host Avril Speaks unravels the convoluted world of indie film distribution with honest insider stories. This show aims to examine the concerning practices of the current industry and hopes to find alternative solutions for a more sustainable distribution model. Their first episode features conversations with Pat Murphy, Orly Ravid, Alece Oxendine, Set Hernandez, Abby Sun, Efuru Flowers, and Kaila Sara Heir and demystifies the role of sales agents. Take a listen or read the transcript here. They released a second episode on the truth behind awards campaigns featuring Matt Stoller, Abby Sun, Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh and Kaila Sarah Hier. Check this second episode out here.  

Anthony Kaufman (who I was able to meet for the first time at Sundance) has been writing quite a few great pieces about film festivals.  Related to my notes above are Will This Year’s Sundance Save Documentary Distribution (probably not).  He also recently wrote about the issues with film reviews at film festivals.  Kaufman points out how reviewers tend to “criticize films for what they’re not” when needing to review a film they just saw. When critics have a platform that is high enough to influence a good portion of a film’s potential audience this can wreak havoc on a film’s distribution. 

Because it is so good and such a jumping off point for important conversations, I’m going to highlight again Megan Gilbride and Rebecca Green’s  Dear Producer post Sundance Reinvented where they indicate the problems of both monetary and physical access at the festival and propose a new kind of Sundance. “On average, a low-budget film can expect to spend (and scramble to raise) upwards of $50-75k to properly attend.” Gilbride and Green hypothesize a better future and point to Sundance’s Satellite Screens initiative which saw theaters around the country exhibiting films from Sundance during the pandemic, but the program was sadly discontinued after 2022. Sundance itself has considered moving away from Park City after its contract with the City runs out in 2026. But Green and Gilbride eloquently argue that the shift needs to be bigger and broader. Read the rest of the piece here.