Is film distribution institutionally racist? Why is it harder for films with actors of colour to get distribution? The answer partly lies in the importance of the international market and audience preferences.

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Happy New Year! I’m taking a look at 2015 with trend spotting and advice on distribution. Why is horror falling out of favour? Are we seeing a rise in branded content? And why are there consultants cropping up everywhere?

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Today’s article is a guest post from my friend, film journalist and VOD marketing expert Corrina Antrobus. Corrina worked for Virgin Media and Blinkbox two of the leading UK VOD platforms and is here to gives us the inside track on how you can make your film stand out from the crowd and make a splash.

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Agent and exec producer Julian Friedmann and I talk producing, pitching and raising finance in the second half of my interview filled with pragmatic and practical advice for indie filmmakers. How can you build a connection with a producer when you’re pitching? What do sales agents look for in films? How do you write a script which engages with audiences?

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Good films start with good scripts. It’s all about story. I sat down with my friend – agent and executive producer Julian Friedmann – to talk about screenwriting. What producers are looking for? What makes a great writer? How do you get an agent? What’s the best route into the business?

As usual, he was full of insight and knowledge. Here’s the first half of the interview. The second half will be posted next week where we talk pitching, producing and what sales agents look for in scripts and films.

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Want to make it as an independent filmmaker? You need to find your tribe. Who’s your audience? How do you find them and reach them? If you can make a connection, you can build fans who’ll support you throughout your career.

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I’m going to be trying something new on the site, with interviews and guest posts from smart people I know in the industry who have interesting things to say on film development, production and distribution. I’m editing the first which I hope will go live next week.

In the meantime, here’s the second idea I’d like to trial, a weekly roundup on links, stories, case studies and reports I found interesting from some other very smart people.

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Following a Twitter chat this week, I wanted to highlight some fantastic people you should follow on film distribution and marketing from a direct distribution perspective. Filmmakers need to think like marketeers. Who’s your audience? How can you reach them? What’s your marketing and distribution strategy for your film? Here are four film gurus who can help.

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Snowpiercer skyrocketed to the top of the VOD charts, with stunning results at the box office and online thanks to its multiplatform release. Is multiplatform releasing going mainstream?

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Talk to any sales agent or distributor about your film and one of the first questions they’ll ask you is who’s in it? Cast is critical for distribution these days across all budgets and genres. But what’s a name? How do you balance the cost of a named actor versus the value in distribution?

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