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Cinequest film fest gets into distribution! New hope for the real indie film world?

Sat 3/3 Update/temporary note of caution:

Possible problem, for some filmmakers, with the Cinequest arrangement: a filmmaker who wants to remain anonymous told me that Cinequest wants long term exclusive rights for DVD distribution & that he heard from a couple of other filmmakers who are currently working with Cinequest that they were not happy with the arrangement. I'll try to figure out this weekend or early next week if Cinequest does require a long term exclusive DVD rights commitment before I permanently add those facts to this post. Some filmmakers may be OK with a long term exclusive DVD arrangement with a new distribution project, while many others may not be.

And now, here is the original post from 3/2:

1 fest down, about 2499 to go :) It's about time that more festivals experimented with ways to make some cash for the filmmakers/tried to use their events to help filmmakers with distribution & revenue. It's a thing that is also in the best interest of the festivals 'cause indie filmmakers who are able to make some money from their movies are likely to make more movies, which will give fests more (& hopefully good) material to choose from for future incarnations of the festivals. Good festivals can't exist without good films. And good films can't get made & filmmaking careers can't be developed if filmmakers do not have ways to sell their work to the audience. Read all about Cinequest's new distribution initiative here at indieWIRE. Go Cinequest! See the Cinequest DVD sales web page here.

Here is a small relevant portion from the indieWIRE article:

"In addition to the festival, Cinequest is touting its new distribution label, which incorporates Intel's Viiv system, Jaman's online community, as well as Netflix Inc.'s DVD audience, and Cinequest Online's established base, into what it calls "a multifaceted fluid system of distribution not previously available to filmmakers and film fans." "

Read the rest of the article here.

I recently read (at IndieFlix's site) that there are 2500 or so film festivals in the US. If many of these get interested in assisting filmmakers with distribution & end up creating new revenue streams for filmmakers, it will be a very good thing for the overall indie film community & its future health, product quality, etc. And all that is very good for film festivals, as I said above.

Now who's going to run with my (& many others no doubt) idea of giving a % of ticket sales $s from fest screenings to the filmmakers who made the movies? Which festivals will do this first (openly, i think this happens on the down-low already, in some cases, maybe)? Not sure, but it is going to happen. The Cinequest thing is a very good step in this direction of festivals thinking about the financial needs of indie filmmakers, indie filmmaking & real indie film distribution.

And one more time, go Cinequest!

- Sujewa


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