Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sundance and Indie Film Distribution

Below is the grim reality from my friend Marc Rosenbush. But, he has an answer.....

Dear Filmmakers,

After months of buildup and ten days of screenings, parties and swag bags, Sundance 2008 is over and the stats are in...

There's been a lot of buzz in the trades about how more truly independent films (i.e., without stars) sold compared to previous years, and how this heralds a bright future for indie filmmakers everywhere.

Sorry to be the bearer of grim news, but things are not so rosy.

The ratio of non-star films to star films may have been a tiny bit better, but the total number of films sold (as of today, around 20) was about the same as always. This despite industry-wide predictions that distributors would be in a buying frenzy because of the WGA strike.

So let's break down the numbers:

This year 3,624 feature-length films were submitted for consideration to the Sundance programming team. That's about 500 more submissions than in 2006.

Out of all those submission, only 121 (about 3%) were chosen to screen at the festival.

Of the 121 that got in, 20 were sold.

Now if you take away the films that had stars in them and the documentaries about famous people (or BY famous people), that leaves just 13 "true indies" that sold.

In other words, of the 3,624 features submitted this year, LESS THAN HALF A PERCENT ended up with a deal.

As for the deals themselves, while there were a few big sales in the $3-10 million range, all of those films had STARS in them!

Of the 13 non-star films that sold, only a couple sold for $1 million or more.


None of the above is meant to be an attack on Sundance. The programmers mean well, they work hard, and they do the best they can.

So by all means, submit your film. It's a great festival.

But even if you get in, NEVER assume that getting into Sundance guarantees a sale of my film.

And NEVER assume that every offer from a distributor is automatically worth taking (whether at Sundance or elsewhere).

I'll leave you on a more positive note...

No matter what happens, no matter what anyone says, YOU have the power. It's YOUR film. YOU get to decide how it gets out into the world.

Wishing you and your film all the success in the world,

Marc Rosenbush
"Internet Marketing For Filmmakers"



REMEMBER: attendees get $50 off Marc's full course. But you have to be there to get the discount.


See you all there!

When: Sunday, February 10th, 2008

Where: Filmmakers Alliance Offices
1030 W. Hillcrest Boulevard
Inglewood, California 90301

Time: 5:45 P.M.


INTERNET MARKETING FOR FILMMAKERS promises to be extraordinarily useful, empowering and potentially lucrative for filmmakers.

Filmmaker MARC ROSENBUSH, whose award-winning indie film "Zen Noir" came out in 2006, has created a revolutionary new online course called INTERNET MARKETING FOR FILMMAKERS. When the distributors didn't come knocking, Marc applied his years of experience as a top Internet Marketing expert to releasing "Zen Noir" himself, earning $40,000 in the first two days, before going on to sell thousands of DVDs over the next few weeks.

Following Zen Noir's extraordinary success, Marc was approached by hundreds of filmmakers wanting to learn how they could achieve similar results for themselves. To meet this demand, Marc recently launched his revolutionary online course, Internet Marketing for Filmmakers, which has already been hailed as "the missing link in independent film education."

Marc's talk will address:

* The benefits of taking distribution into your own hands...
* How he applied sophisticated internet marketing techniques to sell thousands of DVDs - and how you can too...
* The key components of a successful online marketing campaign...

Those who attend the talk will also be entitled to a special discount on Marc's Internet Marketing for Filmmakers online course. - (a $50 discount on top of the $100 discount he's already offering during the launch of the course!) The seminar will take place at the FA Offices, which are located at 1030 W Hillcrest Blvd., Inglewood, 90301. It's off of La Cienega by LAX. Plenty of street parking, no need to feed the meters on Sunday.


MARC ROSENBUSH is an independent filmmaker based in Los Angeles, currently developing several feature film projects through his company, Lightwheel Entertainment. His first feature, Zen Noir, won numerous festival awards before receiving a limited theatrical release in 2006. Prior to the release of the film, Marc was also a leading Internet Marketing consultant, most notably for the Spiritual Cinema Circle DVD club, which he helped build up to more than 20,000 monthly subscribers and millions of dollars in annual income.



  1. HI can you provide me with any ebook related to Indie Film Distribution please?

  2. HI can you provide me with any ebook related to Indie Film Distribution please?

  3. Send where? Please contact me directly for a request like this. There is a link for sending an email at the bottom of the post....