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Distributor Profile: Wolfe Releasing

By Indiewire | Indiewire October 29, 2010 at 6:07AM

All information published in the indieWIRE Distributor Profiles is provided by the individual company.
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All information published in the indieWIRE Distributor Profiles is provided by the individual company.

Company History

Our CEO and founder, Kathy Wolfe, started the company back in 1985 to distribute lesbian films on video. At the time, there were very few lesbian and gay films being made and it was extremely difficult for consumers to get access to them. The company has come a very long way since then, but our primary mission continues to be bringing the best LGBT entertainment to people everywhere.

Company Focus

Wolfe is the largest exclusive distributor of gay and lesbian films. Wolfe’s acclaimed library can be found at WolfeVideo.com as well as at national retailers such as Netflix, Best Buy, Amazon.com and VOD destinations such as Comcast, Time Warner and iTunes. In 2010, major Wolfe titles include: Sundance 2010 Audience Award winner, "Undertow"; the wildly popular "And Then Came Lola" and "Elena Undone." Wolfe is also well known for releasing classics such as "Desert Hearts," "Big Eden," "Were the World Mine" and Thom Fitzgerald’s‘s "3 Needles."

Types of films in distributor's slate:
Wolfe acquires lesbian, gay, bi and transgender films from across the globe — our films frequently also transcend the gay genre label and appeal to wider mainstream audiences as well.

Advice for filmmakers:
Get to know the distributors you're considering by talking to them and asking questions -- do they have experience releasing your type of film? Do they have experience with the gay market, the lesbian market? Or perhaps your film should be targeted to other communities as well. Look at the other films the company has released. Does it seem like they will be able to do a good job with your film? Also, talk to other filmmakers who have worked with the distributors you are considering and ask about their experiences. When you start talking about the details of the contract -- territories, types of rights, length of the term, royalty percentages, etc., -- don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions about anything you don't understand.

Your distributor is your partner. They should work very hard for you to get your film the best exposure and to generate revenue through rental fees, broadcast or foreign sales, and DVD sales. But also remember that nobody loves your film as much as you do! Stay involved in the process all the way through. There is so much work to be done and you are still the person to do it -- in particular around getting the media coverage you want and doing grassroots audience outreach.

Quick Stats

Who handles acquisitions:
Maria Lynn.

Number of films they release theatrically each year:
Today’s theatrical market demands creative marketing solutions; Wolfe works tirelessly with filmmakers to create the best program for releasing as a whole. Additionally, Wolfe books films in hundreds of film festivals annually. Wolfe’s expertise at negotiating generates maximum revenue for our filmmakers.

Distribution platforms other than theatrical:
Wolfe has been a long-standing leader in the home entertainment industry and enjoys significant DVD sales with Target, Blockbuster, Amazon.com, Netflix, Wal-Mart and Best Buy to name a few. Wolfe’s long-standing relationships with cable and VOD companies bring the highest level of exposure on national television. Wolfe is fully engaged in the digital media space with all the top companies and best digital distribution services yielding new revenue sources and creating new audiences for gay and lesbian cinema. Wolfe offers over 100 programs for Digital Download at such destinations as iTunes, Movielink, Amazon, Netflix and many more.

Wolfe Releasing is also a full service foreign sales agency, offering filmmakers worldwide licensing opportunities.

Number of films released exclusively via VOD/DVD or “alternative” means of release:
Approximately 60%.

Number of films acquired at festivals:
Approximately 40%.

Festivals where distributor has acquired films in the last two years:
Every year, our acquisitions team scouts for new Wolfe releases at the following film festivals and markets: Sundance Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, Cannes Film Festival, Frameline (San Francisco), Outfest (LA), Toronto Film Festival, American Film Market (LA), AFI Festival (Hollywood).

 We are always looking for new work. Filmmakers may send a DVD screener and supporting materials to the following address:

Wolfe Acquisitions
21570 Almaden Rd
San Jose CA 95120
(408) 268-6782

Inquires may also be sent to: acquisitions@wolfevideo.com

This article is related to: Distribution





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