DIY Series: Independent Theatrical Release
Digital Distribution has broadened the reach of films. Services such as Tugg and Gathr offer a great way to create a theatrical tour for independent films after or even during their festival runs prior to hitting the VOD market. This panel will discuss alternative distribution avenues that facilitate local marketing of screenings and bookings of theaters.


Director Cathryne Czubek grew up photographing and printing with her father in their darkroom at home. She eventually made her way to NYU to study politics yet decided to return to her photographic roots and earned an MFA at the School of Visual Arts in Photography, Video and Related Media. Czubek has produced for a variety of commercial clients including Condé Nast Entertainment, Current TV, Boatman Media, and others, and has been supported by the the New York State Council for the Arts, the Paley Center for Media, Toronto Documentary Forum, Independent Feature Project, From the Heart Productions, and Women Make Movies. Following a successful theatrical run in 17 cities, her recent feature documentary, A Girl And A Gun, has received critical praise and recognition from numerous outlets, garnering much media attention due to recent news events. Czubek has appeared on HuffPost Live, NPR, ABC News, and several radio shows discussing guns and women’s issues. Along with the theatrical release, her film was simultaneously broadcast on VOD, iVOD, and iTunes for two  months before being released on DVD in the fall. The film's distributors are First Run Features, Gravitas Ventures, Collective Eye Films, and FilmsTransit International. Czubek is currently directing a web series for Condé Nast Entertainment/Glamour that follows a young comedian who elected to undergo a preventative double mastectomy.

Sarah Megan Thomas has always been active in the arts, beginning at age seven, when she and her sister produced a very abbreviated version of Les Miserables.  She has performed on stage internationally, as well as in episodics like Law and Order: SVU and various films and commercials. Thomas wrote and produced Backwards, a film she starred in opposite James Van Der Beek. Backwards had a day-and-date theatrical release in over 10 major cities, and was released On Demand, DVD, Netflix and iTunes. She has also produced Off-Broadway plays including the world premiere of the gender reversed Love’s Labour’s Lost, reviewed by The New York Times as: “This elegant adaptation reveals wit and precision in every line, costume, glance, gesture and prop" and The New York premiere of Summit Conference, extended twice due to popular demand and rated “Don’t Miss” four consecutive weeks by Time Out Magazine.

Richard Matson
heads Distribution and New Business for Gathr Films - the pioneers of Theatrical-on-Demand.  Gathr's mission is to revolutionize theatrical distribution by giving content owners the tools to directly market and distribute their films, and by enabling movie-goers to crowd-source screenings of films to theaters near them. Gathr is growing the largest independent film community of movie-goers in the world. In 2013, Gathr’s theatrical-on-demand successes include Girl Rising which has grossed nearly $1.7 Million from 1000 screenings and is the 4th highest grossing documentary of the year. In addition to his work with Gathr, Matson serves as President of the film distribution company Matson Films which has released over 80 films since 2004.  He previously held the role VP of Distribution at Palisades Pictures.  In 2002, he founded Transmission Films, a pioneer in the online film distribution space. Matson has provided movie distribution consultant services for multiple clients including Kino-Lorber Films, Snag Films, Anywhere Road, MusicEmotion, Microcinema International, and Streiffschuss Films.

April Yvette Thompson, is Director of Development at SimonSays Productions and a Tony-award winning producer/actor/writer working across media. Thompson is involved in strategic planning/development of film and theatre projects including the critically acclaimed Night Catches Us starring Kerry Washington & Anthony Mackie; Gun Hill Road starring Esai Morales & Judy Reyes; Blue Caprice starring Isaiah Washington as well as the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Porgy & Bess. Recent credits include star turns in the smash Broadway hit, Clybourne Park  and the Off-Broadway revival of The Exonerated with Stockard Channing and Brooke Shields. Thompson co-starred in Phoebe in Wonderland, Accidental Husband, Bernard & Doris, Third Watch, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and The Dave Chappelle Show.  She is developing her second play Good Bread Alley with the support of New York Stage & Film, 651 Arts,  New York Theatre Workshop, Harlem Stage and The Arsht.  

Moderator Lisa Rosman has reviewed film for such publications as Marie Claire, Salon.com, Time Out New York, Premiere, Us Weekly, Indiewire, and LA Weekly. Currently she appears weekly on NY1's film review show Talking Pictures and writes on film, feminism, and eavesdropping for SignsandSirens.com.  

Produced by Cheree Dillon, Rosalind Murphy and Marisa Vitali

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