What is Indievillage? Why is it different?
We are an innovative and entrepreneurial team who want to help maximise opportunities for filmmakers in the rapidly changing film distribution space, focusing on audience building and awareness.
We tailor our services to work with filmmakers from concept and audience build through to marketing and sales. Working alongside our global partners we work to create successful distribution pathways, using both cutting edge and traditional methods.
We see that there is a growing need to be rethinking distribution and remaining agile for the global market. We believe filmmakers must learn to invest both time and money into their distribution process if they are to reach their potential audiences, creating the best possible outcome for their products
What is your role there?
I am Head of Acquisitions and Digital Media. I manage a large team of specialists, create distribution and marketing strategies for our clients and assess new content.
How is your role different from other companies?
I focus on working directly with the filmmaker as early as I can – in development stage if possible. My main focus is to create a long-term strategy for them that will help create a sustainable career long after the film is released.
I make sure their product has an audience, work with them to target that audience early on so they become an audience for life. Distribution is important. Filmmakers need to look at it as an opportunity to fund their next project and to raise awareness towards their personal brand and career.
Documentary distribution in cinemas – yes/no/maybe?
Yes! Documentaries are working well in cinemas as ‘Event Screenings.’ Documentaries usually already have an inbuilt audience and if you market to them in their language, they will come to the cinema and see your film. Which is just the start to a successful launch.
Can you discuss the distribution strategy for YOGAWOMAN?
Yogawoman was ground breaking in terms of distribution. We broke a lot of rules. People told us many times that what we were doing wouldn’t work and yet it became one of the most successful Australian docos for that year.
We investigated the audiences FIRST before making the film. 20 million women in the USA were practicing yoga and yoga was popular in many countries. That’s a huge, hungry audience. We wanted to find the best stories from women who were using yoga to make change and we filmed in 9 countries where we knew we could find an audience
As America was our largest audience we made sure that the film really reached that audience. We began building the audience about 6 months before hand and sold DVDs first which then funded the world-wide theatrical release.
We hosted premiere events in key countries and created buzz through publicity and word of mouth. This led us to sign distribution deals including theatrical, broadcast and VOD. We didn’t take the first offer, we had loads of distributors chasing and schmoozing us.
We took our time and researched who would be best for each platform and also spoke with other filmmakers who had worked with them first, to make sure they paid. Then we worked with the distributors and promoted the film wherever it was being released. We did major amounts of grassroots, social media and PR marketing to give the film a really strong push.
We are still selling the film now, 4 years on. We are still feeding the audience online, growing the community and prepping them for our next film. We have created an audience for life. If you have the audience, you have the power.
Do you actively seek proposals for documentaries in development or production?
Yes! We are seeking new content. I am always looking to engage with filmmakers as early as possible.
What is the process?
Email me at sara@indievillage and tell me where you’re at with your current project. We also do free 30 min consults if need advice about your film or have a question you need help with. It’s a completely new world out there for filmmakers and I want to share my knowledge with you. Our content engages over 100,000 people a day.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Distribution is changing. Filmmakers need to be entrepreneurs and learn about making product for audiences at development stage and have a budget for marketing and distribution. It’s smart filmmaking. You’re not selling out, you’re creating a long-term career in the entertainment business. We need to be nimble in a world that is changing so fast. There is so much content out there. How will yours find its audience?