The Watch List – Spring 2017. With Sundance, Berlinale and the Oscars behind us, which directors and stars are rising to the top of packaging list for 2017? Who’s bankable for financiers and gets distributors interest?

I tease out the trends from Q1 and track the people and projects to follow for the year.

I tease out the trends from Q1 and track the people and projects to follow for the year.

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Cannes 2016 was a subdued one, with quieter crowds and few big ticket buys at the market. Bag checks at the Palais and armed guards on the Croisette cast an uneasy feel over the festival. But the sun defied forecasts and the Competition line up was the best in years, much to the delight of critics. Which were the hot titles for distribution? What were the trends in the projects on the market? Who are… 

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I’m back from this year’s European Film Market, with the inside skinny on the latest distribution trends. Which movies were hot sellers at the market? Why were Netflix and Amazon frozen out of big deals? Are we heading towards a less white Oscar season for 2017? Which stars are packing a commercial punch? How are first time directors landing their gig?

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What does diversity really mean at the movie box office? Does international really matter? And why Idris Elba won’t be James Bond?

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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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