Last week I had a couple really interesting calls with clients who are waiting to hear back from festivals before jumping into distribution. And then it occurred to me – they just announced SXSW line up…in a few weeks Tribeca will announce its line up….and then it’s pretty much wait until TIFF in Sept. for the next Tier 1 festival opportunity.
It poses a real conundrum for those of you in the same position – do you hold out to hear from a Tier 1 festival or push forward with distribution and apply to Tier 2’s instead?
Basically we’re only a couple weeks out from the Tribeca announcement so it makes sense to wait that long….and then if your film isn’t accepted there, I suggest pushing forward with distribution anyway UNLESS you’re working with a major agency and have major talent involved that otherwise might grant you a TIFF premiere in the fall. (although of course there’s no guarantees there either)
Also, there’s plenty of great Tier 2 festivals that will continue throughout the year that don’t require a world premiere and can co-exist simultaneously during your distribution window. Festivals like Los Angeles, Austin, New York, Seattle…. and keep in mind that even if you push forward and find a distributor tomorrow who wants to sign your film, there’s typically still a 3-6 month window before your film premieres on a VOD platform due to the backlog/queue – so there’s time organically built into the equation.
Case in point, my film that was picked up at SXSW last year didn’t get released until December – a full 9 months later!
What about Foreign distribution?
If you’re worried about exposing your film to foreign distribution before hearing back from a festival – the next major market (after Berlin/EFM which starts tomorrow) is Cannes in May and then AFM in Nov….so you could easily pick one of those to align with your timing and strategy.
For example, last year a client’s film didn’t get into any major festivals, but we actually initiated foreign distribution first to align with Cannes, and then pursued domestic after that – and both ended up working out very well.
So yeah, windowing these days can be very specific to each project and shouldn’t be given the ‘blanket’ approach of yesteryear.
What do you think? What has been your experience waiting for festivals before distribution and launching foreign before domestic? Would love to hear from you in the comments section below…
February Promo – Film Market Consulting
With two major markets coming up (MIPTV in April and Cannes in May) I’m doing a $1000 off promo for Film Market Consulting this month.
If you have a project (completed or script stage) that you’d like to launch at one of these markets and would like one-on-one help and guidance with all that, check out the details here and apply on page…
And remember, this $1000 off promo expires end of the month!