A New Sales / Hybrid Distribution Initiative
In service to its ongoing commitment to mentor filmmakers and provide them with the most filmmaker-friendly, sustainable and successful distribution, The Film Collaborative (TFC) announces COLLABORATIVE RELEASING, a new soup-to-nuts distribution initiative that combines film sales and licensing with a robust hybrid release plan that allows the filmmaker to partner with some of the best and most synergistic service providers in each rights category.
Focusing initially on documentaries, COLLABORATIVE RELEASING will provide a structured, two-pronged sales/distribution approach. For the “sales” portion of this effort, TFC founder Orly Ravid will act as a sales agent, representing each film to buyers for either all rights or split rights deals. The “distribution” portion will be planned concurrently, prior to a film’s festival or market premiere, whereby TFC will strategize with the filmmakers to map out a hybrid distribution back-up/alternative plan that will incorporate the initiative’s network of partners. TFC, a leader in film festival distribution, will handle that along with U.S. & Canada theatrical distribution as part of the hybrid release approach, should those rights not be licensed elsewhere.
Oftentimes, filmmakers are thrust into a film market, fielding sales offers without a real back- up plan. The purpose of this initiative is to ensure that nothing gets overlooked; it allows TFC to handle the areas of distribution it does best, while facilitating distribution with top-notch service providers in other categories of distribution, such as international sales, non-theatrical, educational, and worldwide digital distribution, as well as airlines licensing, merchandising and DIY. The partners include (in alphabetical order): Alexander Street (Filmmaker’s Library), Collective Eye Films, Film Sprout, Kanopy, Outcast Films, Passion River, Wendy Bernfeld’s consultancy Rights Stuff, ro*co films educational & ro*co films international, Tugg, and consultant Jon Reiss/Hybrid Cinema to handle grassroots outreach and advise on hybrid distribution along with TFC. The initiative will soon be adding additional partners and service providers, for example, for digital distribution and to coordinate publicity and social media. Physical media home video distribution, airline licensing, and additional foreign sales will be addressed individually.
Each filmmaking team will decide on which partners they would like to work with and each partner will also weigh in on which projects they want to be involved with, on a case-by-case basis. These mutually selected distribution partners will then collectively offer complete, robust, filmmaker-friendly, successful and efficient distribution in an expertly-coordinated manner. TFC will advise filmmakers every step of the way. TFC founder Orly Ravid notes, “This initiative is an extension of TFC’s commitment to helping filmmakers navigate distribution to best meet their goals and potentials. The program bolsters that effort by having a suite of the most synergistic and skilled companies and services for each rights class and a pre-structured plan in advance and in tandem with pursuing sales rather than being a belated afterthought which risks time delay and buzz attrition.”
ABOUT TFC: The Film Collaborative is a non-profit on purpose, protecting filmmakers from the minefield of traditional distribution. TFC does not take filmmakers’ rights and provides educational resources and filmmaker friendly distribution services. TFC’s festival and/or theatrical releases include award-winning documentaries such as: Cameraperson, Equal Means Equal, For the Love of Spock, Hooligan Sparrow, Landfill Harmonic, Off the Rails, Racing Extinction, Requiem for the American Dream, Tab Hunter Confidential, The Hunting Ground, The Last Laugh, Uncle Howard, to name a few.
ABOUT ALEXANDER STREET: Alexander Street is the world’s leading provider of academic streaming media to libraries. Its streaming video products range from exclusive, must-have titles (such as the Sony Pictures Classics catalog and “60 Minutes”) to what’s become the largest library-oriented video database in the world, Academic Video Online. Alexander Street has partnered with top video producers around the world to deliver more than 60,000 video titles across all disciplines—and the list continues to grow—all running on the same high-functionality platform, with on-demand pricing, subscription options, and the ability to purchase life-of-the-file rights to most of the content. Alexander Street has made it easy for video to be part of the curriculum by providing users with synchronously scrolling transcripts, indexing, custom playlists, social media functionality, and other tools.
ABOUT COLLECTIVE EYE FILMS: Collective Eye Films is an educational film distribution company that represents compelling documentaries that explore the untold stories of our time. Collective Eye’s films build bridges between cultures and provide unique perspectives by exploring social, political, environmental and spiritual issues to bring provocative and entertaining stories to the screen. Collective Eye Films provide documentaries to campuses, classrooms, libraries and through community screenings. Collective Eye Films believe that film is a medium that can present critical issues, challenge audiences, and raise important questions. Keeping true to the notion that documentary films are powerful tools for change, Collective Eye Films strives to unearth stories that make a difference.
ABOUT FILM SPROUT: Film Sprout is a boutique distribution firm that helps social-issue filmmakers create robust community and campus screening initiatives for their documentaries. Film Sprout’s work runs the gamut from targeted screening initiatives, to vast, high-intensity screening campaigns—and everything in between. Its approach to distribution is firmly rooted in the concept of the double bottom line: the idea that in addition to generating an economic return on investment for its clients, that Film Sprout also seeks to deliver positive social impact through its work.
ABOUT KANOPY: Kanopy is an on-demand streaming video service for educational institutions and public libraries that provides 12 million students, faculty and library patrons with access to more than 30,000 films each year. Kanopy works directly with filmmakers and film distribution companies to offer award-winning collections including titles from The Criterion Collection, PBS, BBC, Media Education Foundation and more. Kanopy is headquartered in San Francisco, California.
ABOUT OUTCAST FILMS: Outcast Films is a leading educational distribution company committed to delivering fresh, compelling documentaries into classrooms and libraries. Outcast films excels at positioning films as catalysts for change in the community by providing filmmakers the ability to connect with students and teachers through multiple outreach activities.
ABOUT PASSION RIVER FILMS: Passion River Films is a film distribution company specializing in releasing films that engage with audiences and impact communities. Passion River Films handles distribution to theaters, VOD, home video, and to academic and digital markets. Passion River's uniquely diverse catalog features Academy Award and Emmy-winning films as well as films that have been recognized at Independent Spirit Awards, Sundance Film Festival, SXSW, TIFF, Berlin, Cannes, and many other prestigious events.
ABOUT RO*CO FILMS: ro*co films operates two different distribution divisions: international and educational. ro*co films international represents and distributes the rights to documentary films to all revenue-generating markets outside of the US including theatrical, TV, SVOD, and TVOD. ro*co films educational specializes in licensing community screenings and educational licenses in North America to organizations such as schools, universities, church groups, NGOs, non-profits and corporations.
ABOUT RIGHTS STUFF: Rights Stuff is an international consultancy based in Europe, providing content strategy and pragmatic licensing services, including content acquisition, distribution & project development. Rights Stuff helps rightsholders maximize their rights across multiple digital and hybrid VOD platforms (including SVOD/AVOD) internationally, going beyond just the big5/domestic platforms, also to regional and thematic film service offerings outside the usual radar screen. Rights Stuff assists with pragmatic balancing of digital with traditional media (hybrid distribution).
ABOUT TUGG: Tugg, Inc. is the international platform that enables individuals, content owners, and brands to turn their passion for movies into action by choosing the films that play in their local theaters and community venues. These individually curated events showcase Tugg’s growing library of over 1,800 studio and independent films. Users choose the film, date, time, and location for their screening, and then spread the word to their immediate and online community.
ABOUT JON REISS / HYBRID CINEMA: Founded by Jon Reiss, Hybrid Cinema is a consultancy, marketing and distribution company that not only helps filmmakers devise the best distribution and marketing strategy to meet their goals, but works with them to execute that plan from monthly supervision to assembling and running a team of experts under your control. Clients include: Hooligan Sparrow, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, Food Chains, Off the Rails, Tyrus, Salaam Neighbor.