Film Distribution & Marketing Workshop

Film Synergy Magic LLC, together with the Film Synergy Group follows upon the popular New York Townhall Meetings to co-market a special seminar taught by executives working in distribution.

This educational and networking event for filmmakers, writers, producers, attorneys, entrepreneurs and financiers features highly relevant presentations by expert speakers plus an actual project analysis session using film examples brought by workshop participants. (Must pre-apply to bring your film)

Learn from expert speakers about the latest developments in the field and connect with like-minded professionals from a variety of relevant backgrounds.

9:00-9:15 am registration and welcome

9:15-10:30 am What is Film Distribution and Why Should I Care?

A. Introduction to Distribution
B. Bursting the Sundance Myth
C. The 4 Keys of Distribution Agreements: Rights, Terms, Territories,
D. Windows of Distribution
E. What to Know Before you Start Filming.

10:30-10:45 am break (15 min)

10:45-12:15 am How Does My Film Get Into the Marketplace?

A. Theatrical Release
B. Home Video
C. Television
D. Internet
E. Ancillaries

12:15pm lunch break (45 min)

1:00-2:30 pm Figuring Out Your Best Options

A. Finding The Right Distributor
B. Deal Structures
C. The Myths of Big and Small Distributors
D. Self Distribution
E. Breaking Down An Actual Distribution Deal

2:30-2:45 pm break (15 min)

2:45-3:55 pm From Decision Making To Product Release

A Festivals and Markets
B. Producers to Sales Agents
C. Marketing
D. Sales Projections

3:55-4:00 pm break (5 min)

4:00-5:00 pm Project Clinic: Let's Talk About Your Films!

5:00 pm adjourn




1. What you need to know BEFORE you shoot

  • Developing a release strategy
  • Checklist for preparing your film for buyers
  • How to generate consumer & distributor interest for your film
  • What are your film's exhibition options (theaters, TV, DVD, internet)?
  • What are deliverables?

2. Theatrical

  • Pros & cons of a theatrical release
  • Theatrical bookers & four walling
  • How much does it cost to have my film in theaters?
  • Profits, or total loss?
  • The myths of a theatrical run
  • What’s non-theatrical (PPR)?

3. Television

  • How do I license my film to a broadcaster?
  • What broadcast options are available?
  • Broadcast 1st or DVD release 1st?

4. Internet

  • Streaming video, Podcasts, download to own?
  • Can I really make $$ via the internet?
  • What are the risks?
  • Why you must consider internet delivery

5. DVD Rentals, Retail, Library

  • How Netflix & Blockbuster changed everything with 8 million on-line DVD renters
  • The truth about retail & why it’s so hard to get onto the shelf
  • Why virtual shelf space saves the day
  • Where do stores purchase their DVDs from?
  • Burn on demand kiosks
  • The risks of DVD retail distribution- RETURNS!
  • My DVD just released, now what? learn about the "long-tail effect"

6. Distributors

  • Learn how to find the right distributor for your needs
  • What are the pros & cons of the $0 advance- 100% back end deal?
  • How to protect yourself when signing an exclusive deal
  • Review and discuss an actual distribution contract
  • The myths of what big distributor can do
  • The myths of what a small distributor can't do

7. Producer’s Repesentatives

  • Who are they?
  • What are their fees?
  • What can they do for my film?

8. Sales Agents

  • Who are they?
  • How are they different from a producer’s rep?
  • Where can they sell my film?
  • What are the costs?

9. International Sales

  • Foreign sales agents
  • What are typical licensing fees?

10. Film Markets

  • Foreign film markets (AFM, Berline, Cannes, MipCom, MipDoc, HotDocs, Napte)

11. Film Festivals

  • Top 10 festivals to be in
  • Why getting in a top festival may not help you make money

12. Self-Distribution

  • Discover new models of self-distribution & why it works
  • What's required when self-distributing
  • Do's & don'ts of self-distribution
  • What’s a sub-distributor & why are they required?
  • Learn how to make more money via self-distribution
  • How much money do I need to properly self-distribute?

13. Marketing

  • Why marketing & promotion is everything!!!
  • Who are we marketing to?
  • What is viral & buzz marketing?
  • Mandatory sales materials for B2B marketing
  • Mandatory sales materials for B2C marketing
  • Why you shouldn’t use your friend for designing the DVD cover artwork
  • Why you should outsource your marketing & publicity needs

14. Sales Projections

  • Will my investors get their $$ back?
  • Learn how to make real sales projections (TV & DVD / US & Int.)
  • When do I get paid?

15. Project clinic

  • We’ll select projects from participants to workshop



Allen Chou is President of Sales and Acquisitions at Passion River Films, a NJ based company that distributes over 300 documentaries, arthouse films, and special interest titles for the US home video and international sales market since 1998. Many of his titles have landed retail shelf space in stores such as: Walmart, Barnes and Noble, Blockbuster Video, Hollywood Video, Movie Gallery, Best Buy, and many more… In 2005, Allen established a distribution partnership with Netflix, resulting in the release of over 180 titles on their site; as well as other retail outlets. Internationally, he has attended Film and TV markets such as the American Film Market in Santa Monica, CA and Cannes Film Market in Cannes, France, where he marketed and licensed films and documentaries worldwide to broadcasters and foreign home video distributors. Recently he started the College Speaker and Public Performance Program; as well as the New Digital Sales and Electronic Delivery division. Allen Chou received his BA in Film from the University Of Maryland, and also attended NYU.

Josh Levin is a film marketing and distribution executive who has brought more than 30 feature films to the US marketplace, including top award winners from Cannes, Sundance, Venice, Berlin, Toronto and Tribeca. As Chief Marketing Officer for Film Movement, Josh learned how to get hard-to-place films in front of the eyes of filmgoers across the country “by any means necessary,” from theatrical premieres in New York City to library screenings in Butte, Montana — while also learning how to get filmmakers paid for their art. Working with films with tiny or non-existant marketing budgets is Josh’s forte. Since starting Gallant Films in 2007, Josh has also begun working in production financing and consulting. Josh got his MBA from Columbia Business School, and his BA from the University of Michigan.

Name Sales End Price
1 Year Synergy Development Membership   Ended $99
Early Bird   Ended $125
Regular   Ended $150
Last Chance   Ended $199

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