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Changing Distribution Models

Distribution models are changing along with technology. Revenue streams are based on ever-evolving platforms and business models. The windows of theatrical, streaming and cable video on demand are all in flux, along with traditional television and DVD launches. Learn where your project(s) fit within the distribution landscape before you start fundraising. How have other films like yours performed – and what types of distribution deals have they received? Come up with realistic comps for your film (as opposed to always pointing towards the outliers that over performed for their genres).

Brian Newman
is the founder of Sub-Genre, a consulting company focusing on developing and implementing new business models for film and new media. Current clients include: Patagonia, developing film strategies, including distribution and marketing for the feature documentary DamNation; Sundance Institute on the Transparency Project, a new project to collect and analyze film revenue and expenses; Vulcan Productions; and several filmmakers on fundraising, distribution and marketing. Brian is also a producer and executive producer of indie films. Newman has served as CEO of the Tribeca Film Institute, President of Renew Media and Executive Director of IMAGE Film & Video.

Amy Slotnick
works with independent filmmakers to engage targeted and niche audiences for a film’s theatrical, VOD, DVD and international releases. Her company Slingshot Films provides grassroots marketing, community engagement, strategic partnerships and social media to amplify the distribution of films. Slingshot Films has increased awareness and revenue for clients, facilitated licensing deals for broadcast television, publishing and VOD. Previously, Amy worked as an independent producer and SVP of Production/Development of Miramax Films. Additionally, she has consulted with independent film financing and development funds. Her films have played at major film festivals and received critical success, earning eight Academy Award nominations and two Oscar wins.

Bill Thompson
is the Senior Vice President of Theatrical Sales for Cohen Media Group. Mr. Thompson has held executive sales positions with such leading distributors as Miramax Films, Gramercy Pictures, Lot 47 Films and four companies headed by Bob Berney – Newmarket Films, Picturehouse, Apparition and Film District. He previously held senior film buying positions with several New York-based exhibition companies, including Cinema 5, Walter Reade, Cineplex Odeon and City Cinemas.

Dan Truong
is the Director of Strategy and Planning at The Orchard where he heads release strategy, finance, and transparency initiatives for the Film and Television group. A veteran of studio finance and business development, Dan previously oversaw greenlight analysis and alternative distribution finance for Focus Features where he sourced partnerships within the digital distribution and marketing space and helped launch the studio’s digital-first arm Focus World.

Jamie Wilkinson
is an Emmy Award-winning software developer & Internet culture researcher. His work focuses around open-source, pop culture and the propagation of information & ideas online. He is co-creator of the Know Your Meme video series & Internet meme database, selected as one of TIME Magazine's Top 50 websites of 2009, and part of the team behind Star Wars Uncut, a crowdsourced recreation of Star Wars that was awarded an Emmy for Interactive Media in 2010. Wilkinson is also a founding member of the Free Art & Technology (FAT) Lab, an open-source research & development group. Wilkinson's work has been featured in the New York Times, NBC, TIME, CNN, NPR, CurrentTV and on the front page of YouTube.

Isil Bagdadi
(Moderator) is an indie film producer, distributor, programmer and publicist. In 2001, Bagdadi and her business partner Michael Sergio started CAVU Pictures to produce and distribute cutting-edge, critically acclaimed and award-winning independent films. CAVU specializes in theatrical distribution, consulting and publicity services for indie filmmakers. As President of Distribution & Marketing, she oversees all of CAVU’s marketing, PR, social media and distribution campaigns.

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NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts