Tag Archives: distributors

A new dawn in Kollywood?

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Sreedhair Pillai

Kollywood is looking for a bright and better 2017, as the industry has undergone a sea change in 2016. All aspects of Tamil film making —funding, distribution, marketing, exhibition, promotions and political climate — have gone through a metamorphosis. Demonetisation and the resulting lack of finance is making producers uneasy.

Last week, the single biggest deal was made for a forthcoming festival film’s most lucrative distribution territory. The deal between the distributor and the production house was done through their bank accounts via RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) instead of the usual practice of paying cash. The distributor had told theatres willing to pay advance, and in some cases MGs (Minimum Guarantee), for this big hero film, to route it via banks, and made it clear that he will not accept cash payments. The deal went off smoothly, with the distributor bragging that he didn’t even visit the producer’s office to transfer the amount.

A leading financier says, “Demonetisation and the number of raids that followed have ensured that producers settle their financiers in cashless transactions via cheques, RTGS, NEFT etc. Now, financiers are wary of funding films based on its negative rights. We need to know their financial background and if they will be able to pay via banks at the time of settlement before going forward.”

One of the lessons Kollywood learnt in 2016 is the importance of marketing and promotions in the success of a film. Films which were torn apart by critics, like Kabali, Remo and others, went on to become hits, based on their marketing, with influential local distributors getting them wide releases.


Today, top stars visit popular screens in suburbs and small towns at the time of their film’s release. Dhanush’s visit to Tirunelveli Ram Muthuram for Kodi promotions resulted in huge collections for the film at that screen, and it featured at number four among the theatre’s top 10 collecting films of 2016.

The number of shows a screen allocates to a film too has become a barometer. At the same time, more than half the films suffer as theatres don’t give prime slots. The trouble is that theatres in the State have found alternative content, which is far more lucrative than Tamil films. Last year, the Tamil dubbed versions of The Jungle Book, The Conjuring 2, M.S.Dhoni: The Untold Story and Dangal did better business than certain straight Tamil hits. These four dubbed films will easily walk into the top ten collecting films of 2016 from Tamil Nadu theatricals based on ROI.

Last week, some screens in Chengalpet area on Monday cut down the number of shows of new Tamil films released for Christmas on Friday and replaced them with Dangal!

It is clear that Tamil films that don’t open well during the weekend are today dumped, without even informing the distributor. Earlier, even if a film flops, it would survive a week, with the same number of shows given at the time of release. Theatres across Tamil Nadu are now finding it better to go for online ticketing, which brings them extra money via service charges. This has created a situation where online booking, especially in Chennai city and Chengalpet areas, will determine the number of shows allotted for a film.

The myth of so-called “low-class masala entertainers” performing better in B and C markets has also been blown away. 2017 will see a more unified box-office performance market across the State, which means that producers can’t make meaningless potboilers and say it is meant for a particular section of the audience. Non-big hero films are now in a process of cost-cutting, with production managers being pulled up and asked to reduce the number of shooting days. Directors, especially newcomers, have been told to bring down the number of scenes, with the final edited copy not exceeding 140 minutes.

As satellite prices are no longer attractive for small and medium films, producers are trying to explore digital platforms. The new team, which will take over the Tamil Film Producers Council in the first week of February, has their job cut out. A lot has been written about piracy eating into collections as technology improves, with many new films being uploaded on Facebook on the release day itself. Hence, the window between a theatrical and digital release will have to come down drastically this year. Tamil cinema producers and actors should realise that budget is the key to box-office success. The Tamil Nadu government should also implement the High Court order to increase ticket prices, which have not been modified for the last 10 years. Hopefully, Kollywood will see a new beginning this year.

(Source: thehindu.com)


Streaming And The Shifting Dynamics Of 21st Century Indie Film Distribution

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Justine Harrison

Ten years ago, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA would have been a Miramax or Paramount Vintage picture. Now? It’s being distributed by a company that began as an online bookseller.

The history of Hollywood is a long and winding one. Over the course of its existence, it has been everything from a series of content factories to an accessory for giant multinationalscreen-shot-2016-11-30-at-3-40-24-pm hybrid companies. It has been through numerous cycles of boom and bust. It has given us both The Terminator and Terminator: Genisys (or as I prefer to call it, Terminator: Spylling Arror). And, as with any institution that exists for an extensive period of time, Hollywood’s methodologies have grown and changed. Low budget genre pictures are no longer made by the dozens on a production assembly line. Directors and actors work job to job, rather than on contracts built around a set number of films. The general structure and tone of blockbusters has changed time and again. And, just as the methods of producing films and the type of films that get made have changed, so too have the methods of getting them out into the world.

When Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea opens in theaters this week, it will be the latest offering from Amazon Films, the film distribution branch of the online bookseller screen-shot-2016-11-30-at-3-42-49-pmturned general internet juggernaut. It will receive both a theatrical and a home media release, but ultimately those are loss leaders for its eventual premiere on Amazon Prime’s streaming service. It will join Chi-Raq, Wiener Dog, The Neon Demon, The Handmaiden and others as part of a sales pitch to its potential audience. That pitch goes something like this – “We have distinctive films by distinctive filmmakers, and if you subscribe to our service, you will have access to them through what is currently being sold as the most accessible way to watch movies and television.” Netflix does something similar with its own original content, although they generally give more promotional focus to their serialized content as opposed to their standalone films. Streaming is still a relatively recent factor in the state of non-blockbuster film distribution, and it has major implications for film as a whole that are still being worked out. But on a purely business level, it is easy to understand why distribution for smaller films has turned so sharply towards streaming in the past few years. Through streaming, Netflix, Amazon and their peers in distribution are making a move that their predecessors could not.

Many of the biggest independent and semi-independent film distributors from the last century have either folded or been dramatically transformed. Miramax and New Line, arguably the biggest and most powerful of these mini-major studios, are now much smaller companies. The Weinstein brothers left Miramax in the 2000s to form The Weinstein Company, and Disney ultimately chose to sell the company off. Its film library, which includes every one of Quentin Tarantino’s pictures up to Kill Bill, is now distributed by former rival Lionsgate. New Line has similarly lost much of the influence it once had, and it now exists as a subsidiary of Warner Brothers. Warner Independent Pictures (Before Sunset, A Scanner Darkly)and Paramount Vantage (No Country for Old Men, Nebraska) have been completely shut down. These companies and subdivisions lived and died on their ability to sell and spread comparatively small, specific movies as comparatively small, specific movies. New Line made its name with A Nightmare on Elm Street and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchises, both of which were huge hits in comparison to their budgets. Miramax sold itself as a haven for filmmakers championed as auteurs – Tarantino, Kevin Smith and their peers. Paramount Vantage distributed the Coens after a string of unsuccessful movies, and Warner Independent Pictures backed Richard Linklater on two of his more ambitious projects (his first return to Jesse and Céline, ten years after Before Sunrise and a cell-shaded adaptation of Phillip K. Dick’s quietly dystopian drug war story, featuring a post-rehab pre-Iron Man Robert Downey, Jr.). While some of these movies have become blockbusters, none of them (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles aside, and even with the success of the cartoon, New Line could not put Disney money behind their adaptation) could initially have been sold as such. So they narrowed their focus, and tailored their products to a specific audience that they could reach. When they overplayed their hand, or the audience moved on, they failed.


Streaming enables the targeting of a more specific audience than ever before, for both good and ill. Amazon can play specifically to folks who want to see Manchester by the Sea or The Neon Demon and guarantee that they will have an audience, but it will be just as easy for a movie to get lost in the endless backrows, particularly if it is only pointed out to a specific audience. It’s why I’m glad Amazon has been making a push to get their movies into theaters, and why simultaneously I want them to push harder. They’ve distributed some really amazing movies, and I want those movies to have a life beyond an ad saying that they are now streaming on Amazon Prime.

(Source: http://www.birthmoviesdeath.com)

Vertigo Releasing acquires distribution for The Young Offenders

Vertigo Releasing has acquired distribution rights for The Young Offenders.

The acquisition will allow the film to be seen in the UK, Canada, the USA, and Australia and New Zealand (in addition to Ireland).

The film is based around Ireland’s biggest cocaine seizure, which occurred when a boat got in trouble in west Cork. It follows as two hapless young teens decide to go on a trip to find one of the bales of cocaine.

The Young Offenders is a first-time feature for director Peter Foott  and stars young Cork actors, Alex Murphy and Chris Walley.

Peter Foott said of the distribution deal:

The cast, crew and myself are delighted! Having our film reach such a huge audience is incredible and we are so happy it’s Vertigo who are taking us on this journey.

The film also stars Hilary Rose (of The Republic Of Telly) and stand-up comedian PJ Gallagher (Naked Camera).

It has grossed over €1m for Wildcard Distribution in Ireland, and is still playing in Irish cinemas.

Rupert Preston and Ed Caffrey of Vertigo Releasing described The Young Offenders as “one of the funniest and freshest films we’ve seen in years”, saying they are “thrilled to be working with Peter to bring the film to a UK and international audience”.


(Excerpted from http://www.thejournal.ie)

Final Cut in Venice

vpbThe fourth edition of the FINAL CUT IN VENICE workshop will take place from September 3 to September 5, 2016 during the Venice Production Bridge of the 73rd Venice International Film Festival (Lido di Venezia, 31st August – 10th September 2016).
The Festival’s purpose is to provide concrete assistance in the completion of films from Africa and from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria; and to offer producers and directors an opportunity to present films still in the production phase to international film professionals and distributors in order to facilitate post-production and promote co-production partnerships and market access.
The workshop consists in three days of activities, in which the working copies of a maximum of six selected films (see articles 5 and 6) are presented to producers, buyers, distributors and film festival programmers. Networking, encounters and meetings will allow directors and producers to interact directly with the workshop participants.
The workshop also includes screenings of material of the selected films in the presence of final-cut-15the directors and producers. Only  Industry pass holders will be allowed to attend the screenings: producers, distributors, operators, buyers, festival programmers, representatives of the institutions and others invited in advance by the Festival management.
The workshop will conclude with the awarding of prizes, in kind or in cash, for the financial support of the films in their post-production phase:
  • up to € 7,000 for the accessible contents of the film for audiences with sensory disabilities: subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired and audio description for the blind and visually impaired, with audio subtitles, in Italian or English, offered by SUB-TI ACCESS Srl (Turin)
    (the SDH file and the audio described soundtrack for DCP will be provided)
  • up to € 7,000 for the production of the DCP master and Italian or English subtitles, offered by Sub-Ti Ltd. (London);
  • up to € 10,000 for digital color correction, for the production of a DCP master and French or English subtitles, offered by Titra Film (Paris)
  • Up to € 15,000 for the sound mixing offered by Mactari Mixing Auditorium (Paris);
  • € 15,000 for the color correction of a feature-length film offered by Laser Film (Rome) for up to 50 hours of work (technician included);
  • € 5,000 for the purchase of  two-year broadcasting rights by Rai Cinema;
  •  € 5,000  offered by the Organisation   Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) to an  African or Arabian film from a member-country of La  Francophonie
  • A 35mm print (without subtitles) or the participation in the production costs of a DCP (€ 1,500), offered by the Festival International du Film d’Amiens;
    • A 35mm print (without subtitles) or the participation in the production costs of a DCP (€ 1,500), offered by the Festival International de Films de Fribourg;
  • Marketing, publicity and distribution in the Arab World for one Arab project is offered by MAD Solutions (except for projects already attached to MAD Solutions).


For more complete details click here.