We’re excited to dig into film Distribution today, and pleased to be joined by Richard Castro (COO & VP, Distribution & Acquisitions) of Cinema Libre, a leader in the social impact space.
Richard joined Cinema Libre Studio in 2004, less than a year after the launch of the company. Initially leading outreach efforts on films like Outfoxed and The Future of Food, he eventually took over domestic theatrical distribution responsibilities for over thirty of the studio's releases, including Betty Blue: the Director's Cut, The End of Poverty?, South of the Border. In his current role, he oversees distribution and acquisitions while managing day-to-day operations of the company. Prior to joining Cinema Libre, Richard worked in production at Lorimar Television and in the domestic distribution and international marketing divisions of 20th Century Fox and Fox Video, respectively.
1. Tells us more about Cinema Libre and your mission as a company, and your emphasis on these social issue projects.
2. Please share title or two, you have represented over the years, and a sample model of your work with that project. For example, you see a movie at a film festival (or submission) and choose to acquire it. What the process from there?
Any newer projects that are in current release, or coming soon, we should know about?
3. With all the new distribution models, how much of your business today is driven by theatrical release vs all the digital platforms?
4. Would you say overall, this is a very exciting time for independent film, and social impact filmmaking? Or that system is broken and many more changes are coming that will give more structure to distribution models?
5. You do have a production division. Do you have targets for how many films you want to make each year? Budget range? Do you consider unsolicited projects?
Tips for filmmakers to keep in mind?
Richard gives us his 2 movie picks!
To learn more about Cinema Libre, click here.
Robin is the director and producer of cause-based documentary films at Finish Line Features, Inc. and Unleashed Productions, Inc. Robin’s most recent award-winning film, CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival 2015, and has caught the attention of the international tech industry and of policy makers in Washington, DC and abroad. Robin is currently directing and producing Bias, a documentary about unconscious bias and how it affects the ways we hire, promote and fund. Previously, Robin co-directed and produced the documentary feature, Running for Jim, which won 14 awards at 20 film festivals.
She has spoken about the importance of increased diversity in computer programming and on behalf of women’s rights at Watermark, Conference for Women, Mobile World Congress, SXSW Interactive, AT&T Foundry FutureCast, Dell Women Entrepreneur Network and Women 2.0. As Director of CODE, Robin has been featured in national publications: USA Today, Wired, Forbes, Fortune, The New Yorker, just to name a few. Robin is recipient of the 2016 National Political Women’s Caucus President’s Award.
Q1 – What made you decide to move into filmmaking? And at what point did you know you wanted to make social impact movies?
Q2 - Of course, I met you when you were touring Running for Jim – a terrific movie that did very well on the festival circuit. Was that your first movie, and tell us how that movie came to be?
Q3 - What were some of the key things you learned on your first project that you knew you would do differently on the next one? And maybe something you learned with be repeated, or similar elements you would continue with in next film.
Q4 - At what point, and was it during the Running for Jim process, did you come up with the idea for Code? And share the goals for the project and what it has meant for you and the community you were trying to impact.
Where can audiences find Code…and Running for Jim?
Q5 – Tell us about your next project? Bias? Almost sounds like a sister project to Code?
“I hope to inspire change in how women and girls see themselves in the industry,” Reynolds told the audience, “I hope to inspire change in startup culture so they become more welcoming and inviting to women.” it can be and make amazing things, we have to bring everybody into this.” http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/tribeca-2015-code-debugging-gender-790255
We’re thrilled to be able to explore Creative Activism today, on many levels, and pleased to have the Founder of Creative Visions, Kathy Eldon join us.
1. How did the seed of an idea for a production company to “make movies that matter” evolve to the broader organization that is Creative Visions today?
2. You have amazing "Programs" with Rock Your World, the Fiscal Sponsorship Program and your Creative Activist Program, can you share an overview of each?
3. On the Production side, you were able to make The Journey is the Destination, with a terrific team and cast. Can you tell us more about production and ultimately the release of the film?
4. Yet another amazing aspect of Creative Visions is bringing people together through Events. Tell us more about the Spark Change Summit that you are doing with the Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment?
5. You have wonderful space that serves as a connection point, and often have open meetings, mixers, happy hours, and mentorship, internship and volunteer programs. How do our listeners connect with Creative Visions?
Filmmaking for Change had an opportunity to connect with Gruvi.tv Founder & CEO, Ben Johnson. They are a full stack media agency, using innovative approaches to help companies and filmmakers find their audience.
A true outlier, Chris Brown is quite the accomplished filmmaker, having directed award winning narratives and documentaries. He has recently released his latest gem, The Other Kids. As you will hear during our conversation, Chris wanted to create his own model, borrowing elements from both genres, creating a hybrid all his own.
Fortunately for us, the subject is High School, and the kids are real heroes, as Chris applies his new approach in the cause cinema space.
Here are the conversation points:
For more information on The Other Kids, visit:
With more independent films being produced, and digital platforms continuing to multiply, distribution can be a daunting journey.
We are joined by Distribber VP Jason Brubaker, who sheds light on the subject, as his company assists filmmakers in crossing that bridge.
For more information on Distribber, visit:
For the sample Deliverables pdf referenced during the podcast, click here:
We were thrilled to have an opportunity to talk with Marketing guru Gabriella Mirabelli - Co Founder and CEO Anatomy Media. We covered many topics over the course of the conversation, and what became abundantly clear was the need to a develop "S-M-A-R-T" marketing strategy in this current digitally driven environment. This may seem obvious, but sometimes it can help to refocus with the following simple overview.
Set your Goals: Yes, they may change, but in order to create the right blueprint for your movie's marketing and distribution strategy, you need to start with a goal and plan backwards.
Make a Plan: Once goals are set, breakdown all the key categories and set a timeline for the steps along the way.
Analyze the Data: as Gabriella shares, Data is king, and we have more access to this information than ever before. Learn it. Study it and plan accordingly.
Reach out: Consider partnerships, influencers and outlets that can help you build your community. You want your project to find your core audience and there has never been a better time to rely on partners.
Think Social: Another obvious one here, but it can't be overstated. As Gabriella emphasizes, most of what we watch comes from "discovery" via social media.
Here are some of the topics from our Q&A:
Listen to her words of wisdom by clicking the play icon above.
For more information on Gabriella, click here to visit Anatomy Media. To see examples of their work, click icons below:
Producing, and Releasing, an independent film is exciting. It's creative, hopefully, inspiring; but it is no small task. It's a marathon, with a subjective finish line.
In addition to all the exciting and creative elements involved in filmmaking, there are a myriad of legal and contractual hurdles that come into play. From basic partner agreements, to music clearances, from domestic to international distribution contracts, filmmakers will need to have experienced counsel in their corner.
For our Filmmaking for Change podcast, we spent some quality time with distinguished entertainment attorney Mark Litwak. He is a pro. An accomplished lawyer and producers rep, Mark has also produced films and authored many books on the business of film.
Here are a handful of the topics we covered in the Q&A:
Regardless of which hat he may be wearing, he will always be a champion of the independent filmmaker. Litwak's words of wisdom and case studies, shared throughout this podcast, will help you overcome a number of challenges.
It's not a sprint. It's a marathon.
visit Mark Litwak and see resources at: https://www.marklitwak.com/
This is a very exciting time for social impact cinema, as a low barrier to entry combines with an increase in public interest for Cause Cinema.