With the #OscarSoWhite controversy, I’m looking at the challenges faced by diverse independent films to get financed and distributed.

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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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The death of DVD rental and sales have hit cult films hard. Traditional distribution doesn’t have space for them anymore. The slow burn and niche audience means low returns in a film marketplace where revenues are already falling. At the same time, cult films can raise millions on crowdfunding. The cult film is dead. Long live the cult film?

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Take a look at the cinema screens this summer and going to head to head with the superhero movies, you’ll find a bunch of R-rated comedies. Jump 22 Street, Sex Tape and Tammy are all gearing up for release. The studios are embracing the genre. Why? Because comedies have the capacity to punch above their weight and make bank at the box office.

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Last week, The Film Collaborative launched the second edition of Selling Your Film, “Selling Your Film Outside The U.S. – Distribution in Europe”. I finished reading it over the weekend and it’s fantastic. If you’re thinking about making a film, going the self-distribution route or just want to learn more about how non-traditional distribution works, this is the book for you.

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Dramas are difficult. They’re the prime example of the gulf between what independent filmmakers want to make and what the market wants. Tell a sales agent or a distributor you’ve made a drama and you’ll see a wince go across their faces. Dramas, the mantra goes, don’t sell. They don’t make money. Not in this market, not at this time, not without a big star attached.

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