Day 1 Schedule: Film Distribution Summit 2018


Collect your pass and meet other delegates... The adventure begins!

9.00am Distribution 101 – Everything You Need to Know To Make Your Film Seen

Making films is a hard, crazy roller-coaster ride. Bad news, it doesn’t end when you finally shout: ‘Picture Lock’. Some might even say, it only starts… a whole different journey. Your film’s route to the audience.
Whether your aim is to showcase your short and get into the best festivals, or to see your feature film on the big screen it is essential to understand the distribution landscape.
In this session we will deconstruct the myth that surrounds sales and distribution, and will teach you the hard facts you need to know and be aware so when you sit down at the table to sign that agreement YOU fully understand it.

Chris Jones // Filmmaker and author of The Guerilla Filmmakers Handbook


10.00am ’I released a film in 2017-18’

Have you heard about these films? Maybe yes, maybe no!  Question is Why?
Meet the filmmakers who actually done it and recently released a feature film in the UK theatres with varying degree of success. They will openly and honestly tell you the gains and losses, and how they got to the point to have it released. What they needed to do in order to get a sales agent, and/or a distributor on board or if they self-released what it took them all in all. This will pave the path for the weekend and show where we are heading towards.

11.00am (15 mins)

Coffee and Networking

11.15am What The Audience Wants

 Before any of us can distribute our films, we need to make them. And that needs money. Do you know who you are making your film for? Are you making it for Susie? Do you know what type and genre of films Susie likes? Do you know which one she in the cinema with her friends on a Friday night and which one she’d rather watch at home from her living room? What are those essential elements she will look for in a movie, on the poster and in the trailer etc.? (Yes, a chopper on a DVD sleeves still sells despite the declining market!)
What does the audience have a real appetite for? It is crucial to know in order for you to get that last bit of funding and the green-light. You want a clear audience who is ready to pay for your film. So How do you go and get it?

12.00pm The Sales Agents and Distributors of Today

There’s a lot of talk about big companies like Netflix, Amazon disrupting the traditional window system, but where does that leave the independent sales and distribution sectors? Some say the UK never had it better, the media sector is growing twice as fast as any other sectors in the economy, Hollywood investment is flowing inward… but where does that leave the smaller companies who operate on or lower than the £10-15millioin mid-range budget?

1.00pm (60 mins)

Lunch and Networking

2.00pm The Alternative Route

You don’t want to work with a Sales Agent or a Distributor. What else can you do? Listen to the people who are out there and offer you an alternative option. It is pretty interesting what else you can do with a film on your own.

2.30pm Festivals and Markets

We all like the glamour rubbing off when we pat ourselves on the shoulder and congratulate on the latest festival win. But what does a festival nomination / win really mean for a filmmaker’s future career? And how do festivals truly work? What happens at festivals, should you go to all of them? What is the difference between a festival and a market? When should you start thinking about your festival strategy?  Which festival is better than the other? How much money you’ll need to put aside from your budget? Questions and answers every filmmaker should be aware of!

3.30pm Case Study / Workshop

We will send you a home work before the festival and will ask you to prepare a bit for this session.

4.00pm (30 mins)

Coffee and Networking

4.30pm Dragon's Den

If you completed the ‘homework’ we’ve given you, this is the highlight of your day: when we put the knowledge into practice.

5.30pm The Waterfall Explained

It's all good to know how and where do you distribute a your film, but it is also essential to understand your place in the waterfall and how the money trickles down through each stages from theatrical, through VoD and pay TV up until to the very of second cycle sales.

7.00pm Networking Drinks in the Red Lion


Day 2 Schedule: Film Distribution Summit 2017

9.00am Done It But Differently!

Meet the filmmakers, who faced insurmountable challenges trying their films get to an audience and used innovative and daring ideas to do it so. How did they do it? What aids they got? Who were the people and bodies, who supported them along the way?

10.00am Lawyered!

Everyone says don’t sign a contract without reading it! But it’s not much use reading it if you don’t understand the special colloquial they use, and have no idea what ‘traps’ there might be set for you.
Learn the essential knowledge from top entertainment lawyers in order to understand your contracts and rights.

11.00am (30 mins)

Coffee and Networking

11.30am Sprinkling That Magic Spin On - Is Marketing Easy?

You have everything, a great idea, the financing in place and you can of course easily get it to your people and everyone will love it and queue up to pay for it in the cinema – just because. No need for sugarcoating. Marketing is easy, right?
There are some invaluable tricks and tips you can get from industry experts who’ve done it successfully that will make your life not just easier but your money to stretch so much further you’ll be surprised how many more people you managed to reach with it, people you never thought you could. What is their secret?

1.00pm (60 mins)

Lunch and Networking

12.30pm The Art of Posters

 You know everything about distribution and marketing by now. You also know, your key artwork is well… KEY to the success. Learn how producers, distributors and poster creators work together through the presented case studies.

2.00pm The Other Key Artwork: The Trailer

You can ask a number of questions about a film: who is in it? What is it about? And so on. There’s one very simple answer to it: CLICK PLAY! You come across it daily on social media, you hear it on radio and TV and in the theatres. Trailers are everywhere and an outstanding one can sell a film better than any convoluted strategically thought through campaign that was designed to ‘convert’ you. ‘3 seconds all you need’ – they say. Learn from the experts how to cut the best to sell the most.

4.00pm (30 mins)

Coffee and Networking

3.00pm Making tech delivery: What, how much and what you can skip

Technical delivery is the stage where you hand over the files, documents, contracts, copies of masters... YOUR FILM... To the distributor. This is an extraordinarily detailed technical list of elements that any distributor, sales agent, aggregator or platform will need in order that they can sell your film. We share what you can cheat, and also what you MUST deliver? How much will it cost (more than any of us would like) and how long will it take?

Chris Jones // Filmmaker and author of The Guerilla Filmmakers Handbook


4.30pm The Real Life Pitch

Are you scared? Are you ready? Take all your courage and see if you can find an audience for your film!

5.00pm Get Money To Distribute

You get it, the sales, the distribution, the marketing – but how to get money to do it? Also, how much you need for it realistically? There is money out there: you can apply to government bodies, or source it form more nontraditional routes.

5.30pm Surviving Sales and What’s Next?

If we thought making the film was hard, then distribution is the second hidden step we know happens but we also kind of lie to ourselves about. Anyone who makes a film will at some point find themselves at this all important threshold. In this closing session, we will reflect on the journey and recap on the hard won truths, building a cheat sheet for success on a financial level, success on a carrier development level, success on a personal satisfaction level, and perhaps even success deep inside our artistic souls.

Chris Jones // Filmmaker and author of The Guerilla Filmmakers Handbook