Insights > European Filmmakers Guides to Distribution
03 Apr 2005

European Filmmakers Guides to Distribution

The last five years have seen Thailand changing into a major cinema player in the region and, its growing film industry is more present on the international scene too. From a barely no-infrastructure, no-stars and no-film policy country in 2000, the kingdom has fast developed into a model for many neighbouring ASEM countries. Thailand is now the forth-regular supplier of Asian films for the Rotterdam, Berlin and Cannes film festivals just after China, Korea and Japan.

Feature films still largely represent films made in Thailand. But, with its expending number of schools, festivals and qualified technicians, European buyers and co-producers are expecting a similar grow for the other genres; documentary, shorts, animation, TV series.

Apichatr composes music for feature, animation and TV series in Bangkok. He is currently working on “the PIKISS” a Thai - Belgian 3D animation series. He explains the qualitative and quantitative grow with different arguments. “Of course India and its various services for animation studios, as well as the Bollywood effect have inspired local entrepreneur such as IMAGIMAX who supplies animation services worldwide”. But the country needs for its own cultural goods also explains this production boom. Apichatr last animation production was on the Thailand Hill Tribes traditional songs.

There is another element which has greatly facilitated the promotion of Thai films abroad; the spread of the internet and the ADSL.

A Filmmakers Guide to distribution – by the British Film Institute (BFI)

The internet helps local producers to better promote their existing products, and to find more about the format needed by European distributors. In regard with this last point, we have to applaud to some recent European initiatives for their excellent internet communication.

The first is the recent publication of the British Film Institute “A Filmmakers' Guide to Distribution and Exhibition” written by Jane Giles, edited by Pippa Eldridge and Julia Voss.

The publisher aim was “to find an audience for completed short films and low budget features”. In fact, the publisher succeeded to reach a much wider audience. Anyone involved in the film business will find in this guide - detailed account of standard for UK distribution and exhibition procedures. The Filmmakers' Guide sections cover Festivals, Planning a Cinema Release, and non-theatrical releasing. It also contains several case studies to learn from. The last sections propose an industry glossary, festival& Events Calendar, Contacts and web resources.

In its introduction, the publisher highlights the tremendous changes for the film industry that are coming together with the digitalisation and the internet .

“The sector is currently on the verge of enormous changes due to developments in digital technologies. For creative and financial reasons, increasing numbers of both new filmmakers and established auteurs are now shooting on DV (although digital cinema projection is still in development). Having established global opportunities for short films, with the arrival of ADSL lines the Internet is about to offer the same for features of cultural (rather than mainstream commercial) significance. These advances do not make the traditional pleasures of festivals and cinema going obsolete, but go far in democratising access to the strong personal visions of diverse filmmakers”.

(Download “A Filmmakers' Guide to Distribution and Exhibition” PDF 84 pages 69 kb)

A Filmmakers Guideline to distribution – by FILMS TRANSIT

FILMS TRANSIT is the second publisher of an excellent presentation on its website for distribution requirements.

FILMS TRANSIT is specialized in the distribution of quality documentary films and documentaries that it calls “Urgent films” (Read more in The Netherlands Resource Directory). The company runs has offices in Amsterdam, Montreal and New York. The distribution company recently presented “ THE 8 MODEL WORKS ” the last movie of Yan Ting Yuen at the latest Berlinale (Read the article).

FILMS TRANSIT website offers a unique resource for anyone who need to better understand the classic route of a film to its audience. The company provides detailed information on its Acquisition and Release policy and on the Acquisition criteria.

Both BFI and FILMS TRANSIT guidelines are addressed to filmmakers whose films are completed, but not yet released in Europe. Both have succeeded in making their information easy to adapt to any specific production. Doing so they greatly help filmmakers from the South East Asia and more generally the enlarged ASEM film industry.

Recent European events have included filmmakers from the enlarged ASEM - Asian countries. This was the case with the just ended 11th FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DES CINÉMAS D'ASIE DE VESOUL, which has seen the participation of Cambodian, Laotian, Philippines and Vietnamese films. It was also the case with the new initiative “ATELIER DU FESTIVAL” from the Cannes International Film festival 2005 edition whose organizers have selected the Laotian filmmaker Som Ock Southiphonh. These events confirm that there is a rich source of films in the region.

There is no doubt that European festival organizers and European distributors contribute with their detailed websites to trace the route between films of the SEA region and the European audience.