US tutors presented new distribution ways for documentary films at the 2nd workshop in Telč.
With internet and social networks changing the way we choose films to watch and how we get to know about them, the audience are spending less time in cinemas and in front of television screens. But this trend doesn’t necessarily be a bad news for documentary films. As the most progressive genre, documentary is finding new channels to its audience via online distribution networks such as Netflix, Amazon or Vimeo, a trend new in Europe but already well-established in the US.
Therefore, DOK.Incubator invited leading US film professionals to the 2nd session in Telč, Czech Republic, to speak about these new opportunities and opened their lectures to Czech filmmakers for free.
„Television has long stopped being just a mere broadcaster, now it has to offer more to its audience,“ says Simon Kilmurry, director of the biggest independent channel POV, „today we travel with our documentaries and also offer them online.“
Lori Cheatle, producer from Hard Working Movies and lecturer, together with Sigrid Dyekjaer, one of the most established Danish producers, held a lecture comparing the distribution ways in Europe and the US. While many European producers worry about distribution in post-production, in US producers think about distribution already before taking on a project.
Sue Turley, director of established sales company ro*co films, talked about alternative markets for documentaries such as universities or Hollywood studios which are now adapting documentaries into fiction. She also talked about the importance of choosing the right sales agent, a decision that makes a big difference in the life of a documentary film.
Apart from the US experts, directors of important European film festivals like Tine Fischer (CPH:DOX) and Claas Danielsen (DOK Leipzig) came to the workshop as well. Together with Martin Horyna, programmer at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, and Marek Hovorka, director of Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, they talked about how filmmakers can work together with film festivals to reach the largest international audience possible with their films.