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Carnivalesque Films started in Boston, MA in 2004. The title of our company comes from the Russian literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin. Our upcoming releases include Citizen Architect, Loot, Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo, and October Country.
Types of films in distributor’s slate:
We prefer documentaries, but have also released hybrids that merge fiction and nonfiction (The New Year Parade and Woodpecker).
Advice for filmmakers:
We ask filmmakers to write down their expectations. Then we see if their expectations are realistic and doable for us. This simple request establishes an informal agreement of mutual understanding. Distribution is hard work, and so is filmmaking. We only say this because we are also filmmakers. Playing a dual role helps us provide a clearer understanding about numbers and where efforts should be focused. The most effective distribution relationships that we’ve had are “co-releases,” meaning we pool together our resources, contacts, time and energy with the filmmaker to boost the sales of a film. A reality is that DVD does not make much money and you have to constantly work at it together.
Who handles acquisitions:
David Redmon & Ashley Sabin. Both of us also handle the promotion, technical, booking, etc. We are a very small company.
Number of films released theatrically each year:
Our distribution plan is very much catered towards what the filmmaker wants vs what we can do. We can book films theatrically and have done so in the past, but normally we book 0 to 1 films per year in theaters.
Distribution platforms other than theatrical:
We distribute films on home and educational DVD, directly to Netflix, Amazon, one-offs, and minimal theatrical. We can also license films to US broadcasters. Our newest adventure is licensing to iTunes and Netflix streaming. We’re also thinking of providing a service deal to filmmakers where they can get their films on Netflix and Amazon yet retain 100% of the profit.
Number of films released exclusively via VOD/DVD or “alternative” means of release:
100%, but we don’t give away films for free online (and we currently don’t do VOD).
Number of films acquired at festivals:
100% (mostly after a festival ends, but not during the festival. The festival is where we meet the filmmakers and see their films).
Festivals where distributor has acquired films in the last two years:
The majority of our films have come out of SXSW, Silverdocs, and LA Film Festival. Yet, we go to festivals both big and intimate throughout the year. For example, we first watched “Loot” at Sarasota Film Festival, “October Country” at Camden Film Festival, “The New Year Parade” at IFFBoston, and “Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo” at Indie Memphis Film Festival.
[For more information, visit the company’s website.]