indieWIRE and the Film Society of Lincoln Center packed the new amphitheater at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center on Satuday for a panel on "15 Years of Distribution," tied to iW's 15th anniversary over the weekend.
Hosted by iW's own Dana Harris, panelists included Richard Abramowitz from Abramorama, Amy Heller from Milestone, SnagFilms and FSLC's Bingham Ray, Ira Deutchman (Emerging Pictures), Bob and Jeanne Berney from FilmDistrict, Mark Urman (Paladin) and Arianna Bocco (IFC Films/Sundance Selects).
While the distribution vets on the panel looked back on the 15 years of distribution and its evolution, many of the highlighted commentary could fit well in 'distribution of the past 15 months.' Urman advised aspiring filmmakers, "I would make a very good movie and then would pray a lot."
Asked what advice she would give a filmmaker on which model today would work best, Bocco noted that there's one-size-fits-all hybrid model for distribution today. "It depends on the film, we go into [strategy] with an every case scenario in mind."
Bingham Ray, who co-founded October Films noted a bit of nostalgia for old theaters that have now become victims of the changing economics. "I'm nostalgic for theaters that are now Rite Aids," he said.
On a related note, Jeanne Berney noted that her son found FilmDistrict's "Insidious" for free online. "We said, 'If you want to stay in college, give us the name of that site.'"
The full panel is below...