Day 1 Schedule: Film Distribution Summit 2017


8.30am REGISTRATION

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

9.00am The evolution - revolution: Distribution in 2017

Film sales and distribution has always been the holy grail for indie filmmakers. To get your work seen by audiences, get paid for your hard work and talent, and for exciting opportunities to open up from this success is the goal for us all. That success has for most of us remained elusive. Add in the extra layer of frustration that comes from ‘online’, with the internet promising so much and yet delivering so little and you’d be forgiven for thinking that achieving a successful distribution was impossible. But it’s not. In this session we will deconstruct the myths that hold us back and explore recent, documented and verified successes we can all model. It’s time for us all to reboot into the brave new Indie Film Distribution world of 2017.

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

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10.00am Meet The Successes

In this panel, four diverse and recently successful indie filmmakers discuss their specific distribution plans, what they got wrong, what they got right, what they received, what doors opened and their hardest won lessons. This will shine a light on where we need to go for the next two days.

Tom Kerevan // Screenwriter, Producer

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11.00am (15 mins)

Coffee and Networking


11.15am Managing Expectations: the kick-ass (but honest) business plan

Before any of us can distribute our films, we need to make them. And that needs money. We can mix in our own resources, hustle freebies, crowdfund… but most of us will at some point need private investment. What do those all-important pages in your business plan need to contain in order to, ethically and honestly, get people to put their money where your mouth is?

Ross Bispham // Producer, Distributor consultant

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Joseph D'Morais // Distributor Blue Dolphins

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Leon Butler // Writer & Producer

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12.00pm Traditional Sales Agents and Distributors in 2017: How does it work now?

Sales agents and distributors are operating in an increasingly challenging world, but they are still working inside a strong and vibrant industry. What does the landscape look like from where they stand and should you be partnering with them or blazing your own ‘disruptive’ trail?

Somali Joshi // Founder & Director at Day For Night

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David Nicholas Wilkinson // Distributor, producer and director

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Julian Richards // Writer, Director, Producer and Sales Agent

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Joseph D'Morais // Distributor Blue Dolphins

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1.00pm (60 mins)

Lunch and Networking


2.00pm Elements of commercial success

Traditionally, what do you need to get people to buy? Be they sales agents, executives, or punters? We can’t afford movie stars and huge visual effects, but we can do other things. Listen to the people who buy and sell as they share, specifically, what gets people to hand over money for your work (whether that’s cinema tickets, clicking on Netflix or even monetizing on YouTube).

Samantha Horley // Sales Agent and Screenwriter

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3.00pm How to bypass the middleman: New models for success

Increasingly the middleman is becoming irrelevant. Who are these people? What do they charge? What do they offer? Do you need them? How can you do deals without their intervention?

Paul Ridd // Picturehouse Acquisitions Coordinator, Discover Tuesday

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Dave Kapur // Co-Founder of OurScreen and Elevenfiftyfive

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Ian Cartwright // Co-Founder of OurScreen and Elevenfiftyfive

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4.00pm (30 mins)

Coffee and Networking


4.30pm What’s my film REALLY worth and how can I maximize that number?

Let’s get real with an industry panel who will dissect and advise on a number of live projects at the event. They will share the key factors that radically impact on the bottom line.

Julian Richards // Writer, Director, Producer and Sales Agent

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Yana Georgieva International // Sales Manager at Bankside Films

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Samantha Horley // Distributor, Screenwriter

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5.30pm Getting into UK cinemas: A step by step guide for those without distributors

For many, getting seen in a UK or domestic cinema is important. Sometimes this is ego and vanity alone. So how do you feed that side of you AND walk away with a profit and not a massive loss? This session will reveal the template.

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

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Day 2 Schedule: Film Distribution Summit 2017


9.00am Self-Destruct: The common pitfalls indie filmmakers fall into and how to spot them

In this session, we look at the costly mistakes filmmakers make over and over, why they make them and how to avoid them.

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

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10.00am Going global: Selling to the big aggregators, channels, and platforms

Netflix, Amazon Prime, iTunes… What are the REAL numbers? How can you do a deal? Meet the filmmakers who have done it and can share the data.

Tom Kerevan // Screenwriter, Producer

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Leon Butler // Writer & Producer

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The 2017 Indie Film Distribution Summit

Simon Blake // Writer, Director

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11.00am (30 mins)

Coffee and Networking


11.30am Meet the Aggregators

Increasingly the idea of doing a single deal with one massive and reputable company (an aggregator) is looking more and more attractive. Who are the aggregators, what can they offer you and why will they want your film?

12.30am The disruptors and why YOU need to know them

Who are the business people and entrepreneurs at the bleeding edge of film distribution and marketing, what cool shit can they do, and what can we learn from the way their minds are wired?


1.00pm (60 mins)

Lunch and Networking


2.00pm Making the killer trailer

The number one question any film professional will ask, after what’s it called, who is in it, what’s the genre, what’s the budget… Ok so the number six question (but the one that leads to someone watching your stuff) is ‘can I see your trailer?’ Meet the editors who make your movie look like a million dollars. How do they do it? What are the secret tricks they use to make people NEED to see your film?


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?


4.00pm (30 mins)

Coffee and Networking


4.30pm Marketing on a budget: Delivery and Execution

What are the best ways to market your film when your budget is limited? Meet the experts who do this day in day out. If you think it’s just opening a Twitter account and making a Facebook page, you are in the wrong decade. You can achieve SO much with very little, but you do need to game the system and work in a focused, strategized and innovative way.

Jon Barrenechea // Producer of Sundance London, Marketing Head of Picturehouse

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Ross Bispham // Producer, Distributor consultant

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5.30pm Festivals? A waste of time or platform?

We all love a festival win, but what’s it really worth? How much time, money and energy should you put into a festival campaign and what is the outcome you want? Meet the filmmakers who have been there and can share the REAL value of a festival run.

Paul Ridd // Picturehouse Acquisitions Coordinator, Discover Tuesday

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Jon Barrenechea // Producer of Sundance London, Marketing Head of Picturehouse

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6.00pm 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

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