Indie film sales-distributor levelFilm has acquired rival Search Engine Films, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the transaction is the latest sign of a Canadian company combining operations with a rival to gain leverage in negotiations with digital disruptors like Netflix and Amazon."The acquisition of Search Engine is an exciting move for our company and was a natural next step for levelFilm as we continue to grow both in Canada and abroad,” David Hudakoc, managing director of levelFILM, said as he unveiled the deal during the European Film Market in Berlin.The deal comes at a time of consolidation across various areas of the entertainment industry, including among Hollywood giants, such as Walt Disney's $52.4 billion deal for large parts of 21st Century Fox.The levelFilm deal follows Boat Rocker Media acquiring Proper Television and Proper Rights, and Kew Media Group picking up film and TV distribution outfit Content Media … [Read more...] about Berlin: levelFilm Acquires Rival Indie Film Distributor Search Engine Films
Indie films on netflix
When it comes to gaining insight on what movies play well in indie-owned movie theaters, Bleecker Street CEO Andrew Karpen need look no further than his wife of 25 years, Pam Karpen. "She actually owns a four-screen movie theater in Bethel, Connecticut. And yes, she plays Bleecker Street films," he says with a laugh. "And no, I am not involved in any of the negotiations on what the terms are." Still, the intel on what drives increasingly distracted audiences out to a theater comes in handy when the former Focus Features co-CEO is looking to buy a film at a market like the upcoming Sundance Film Festival. This year marks Bleecker Street's fourth year in Park City and the first that all three of his avid skier children — two sons, 22 and 20, and a daughter, 17 — will join him.Karpen, 51, founded the film distributor in 2014 with backing from 5-Hour Energy founder Manoj Bhargava and named it with a nod to the old Focus headquarters at 65 Bleecker St. Now employing 21 people, … [Read more...] about Bleecker Street CEO on Sundance Post-Weinstein and the Future of Indie Films
The Industry Forum at the second annual International Film Festival & Awards Macao (IFFAM) tackled three main areas of discussion: how film can compete in a world of better TV; the role of film festivals in the modern landscape; and how the growing Chinese market is impacting the rest of the global film industry.The forum was comprised of nine sessions, three devoted to each topic, with invited industry experts speaking freely behind closed doors. After the private sessions, the moderator for each topic gave a public recap of highlights and conclusions.“We were inspired to get industry people together to talk behind closed doors and have the freedom to exchange ideas. That’s what we want Macao to be, a place to exchange ideas and stories,” said IFFAM artistic director Mike Goodridge at the forum. The closed-door model is inspired somewhat by Locarno’s StepIn industry sessions.Gilbert Lim, EVP of Thailand-based Sahamongkolfilm International, recapped the TV … [Read more...] about Macao Forum: Chinese audiences keen to watch more indie films
There are no limits to variety when it comes to streaming services these days, but something that always deserves a highlight is a film directed by a woman, and in recent years, there have been many worthy of attention. From horror to romance, these movies prove that female filmmakers are a necessity in media, with eyes that understand the female experience and can work in any genre. Here are ten films currently on Netflix that are worth a watch. 1. The Babadook (2014) Jennifer Kent What many would argue to be the best horror movie of last year, and one of the scariest in recent memory, The Babadook was a self-assured portrait of how the horror genre can be an excellent trojan horse for tackling other, more grounded issues. In Jennifer Kent’s The Babadook , the monstrous, shadow-lurking Babadook is an allegory for the fears of motherhood, postpartum depression, and loss. The ghoulish figure is the fear of creatures that can be found in the … [Read more...] about 10 Female-Directed Movies on Netflix That You Need to Watch Now
I’m late to the linkfest on this one, but I just caught up with John Anderson’s piece in The New York Times on self-distributing indie films. It’s positioned as a trend piece, and the hook is this week’s release of Randall Miller’s Bottle Shock, which the filmmaker is getting in theaters himself with the help of Freestyle Releasing and former Picturehouse exec Dennis O’Conner. Filmmakers, of course, have been self-distributing for years — the difference now is that the specialty distribution circuit seems like such a bleak place that fewer are questioning the decision to do so.What I found good and succinct in Anderson’s piece are these paragraphs, which lay out the kind of effort Miller is expending on his film. Anderson makes clear that today’s self-distribution involves a lot more than just four-walling a theater, buying a tiny Times ad, and hoping the crowds will show up.To help navigate the sometimes treacherous world of film … [Read more...] about SELF DISTRIBUTING INDIE FILM
Indie film champions are often fond of comparing what we do to indie music. If bands can tour, why can’t we? If bands can sell merch, then we should too. If recording artists can form boutique labels, then why can’t film distributors? Like, for example, Oscilloscope, the film label of Beastie Boy Adam Yauch.At Flavorwire, Judy Berman takes this assumption to task in a piece called “Why is Indie Film Dying While Indie Music Thrives?” She bases her assessment of indie film’s slow-motion death on Edward Jay Epstein’s “Can Indie Movies Survive?”, which I found to be a pretty reductive piece. The central question — how can indie movies survive in an event-based moviegoing culture? — is a good one, but Epstein’s article uses one very specific model of independent film production to speak for the whole field. (On this point about indie films and their event-fullness, check out Ted Hope’s newly redesigned Truly Free Film … [Read more...] about HOW COOL IS INDIE FILM?
At the start of this year, I opened an account with Letterboxd, a social platform that allows you to keep track of the films you watch. I work as a critic and edit a criticism website, so readers and subscribers often write me asking about what I have seen, especially when I do not publish my sentiments about a major film on any outlet. As of mid-December, I have listed about 200 movies (and a few limited series, including Netflix’s Easy and the ESPN sensation OJ: Made in America) as “watched” since I saw Darius Clark Monroe’s brilliant short film, Dirt, on January 20th. This tally is short, though, because as a journalist, much of what I see is embargoed for review until near release, and Letterboxd maintains a ratings system that might jeopardize those embargoes. Then there are the myriad shorts and microbudget indies too low-profile to register with the site.If I had to estimate, I would guess that I have seen upwards of 275 features and perhaps 100 short … [Read more...] about The Best Short Films on Television in 2016
You’ve made an independent film and you’d like to get it out into the world. Unfortunately, unless you’re already a “name” director with an established track record or your film has played at top festivals, there’s no clear route to getting distribution. In recent years as the traditional distribution model has shifted, the future of film distribution has been murky.But at a Portland Film Festival panel devoted to distribution, Drafthouse Films chief operating officer James Shapiro declared that “We have finally arrived at a place where we know what the future will look like, at least for the immediate future. We’re going to a streaming world.” Traditional distribution modelIn the past, films followed a traditional model where they screened theatrically before, after three or four months, becoming available on home video before heading to transactional video and on demand services (cable, iTunes), then going to broadcast (pay … [Read more...] about What Filmmakers Need to Know About Indie Film Distribution in 2016
Do you watch movies downloaded via the Internet to your laptop, tablet, smartphone or even TV set? If so, have you received a love letter from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) informing you to either go on a digital data diet or plan to pay more to suck down more streaming 1s and 0s? If not, it will arrive shortly.The leading ISPs are changing the usage and pricing models they have long used, shifting the industry from one with “unlimited” plans to “limited” deals.The effort to impose data caps – sometimes called data throttling – may have significant, long-term consequences for indie filmmakers. Indie film distribution is increasingly augmenting traditional festival and theatrical releases with Internet video streaming to reach in-home viewers. In this effort, indie makers are relying on non-traditional distributors like Netflix, Apple and YouTube as well as an increasing number of micro-distributors to get their works out.As a rule of … [Read more...] about Will Data Caps Kill Indie Film?
What's the secret to marketing a film with next to no money? How do you do compete with the studios when your movie becomes a pop-culture phenomenon? And where do you spend in an online environment that has thrown traditional marketing notions into upheaval? These were some of the subjects addressed by marketing specialists Eric d'Arbeloff of Roadside Attractions, David Dinerstein of Lakeshore Entertainment, Nancy Kirkpatrick of Summit Entertainment, Christian Mercuri of Nu Image and Debbie Miller of CBS Films in a recent conversation with The Hollywood Reporter's Stephen Galloway and Matthew Belloni at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills.The Hollywood Reporter: The Academy has decided 10 movies will now be nominated for best picture. How is that going to affect marketing for awards-oriented films?David Dinerstein: It's a mixed blessing. It is not inexpensive to launch a campaign -- it can be as little as $2 million and it could go to $10 million or $20 million, (though) that … [Read more...] about Roundtable: Indie film marketing specialists