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Filmmaker Industry Beat: The Clusterfuck of New Distribs

Filmmaker Industry Beat: The Clusterfuck of New Distribs

In the Summer 2007 issue of Filmmaker Magazine (on stands now, select articles online here), I examined several new distribution companies (Summit, Overture, Sidney Kimmel, Peace Arch) vying for space and/or greater control in the crowded theatrical marketplace. And the trend has lead me to make the following surveying statement:

“Here’s the ongoing cluster-fuck of indie film: There are more companies in the marketplace, providing more options for financing and distribution, but there are also more movies facing an increasingly uphill battle to find and stay on screens; and more competition in theaters means companies want more movies that are less risky.”

As producer Anthony Bregman, while on the set of Charlie Kaufman’s Sidney Kimmel backed “Synecdoche, New York,” told me, “There’s very little diversity right now. Everyone’s looking for that knockout film — the specialized film world’s equivalent of a tentpole — that has star-value, DVD value, that will excite international distributors and get awards at festivals. If you don’t have that, you’re cutting your budget and making films under very constrained circumstances.”

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