A Filmmakers’ Guide to Distribution and Exhibition

British Film Institute | Toolkits | September 16th 2001

This guide is for anyone in the film business who needs a more detailed account of standard UK distribution and exhibition procedures. The aim is to find an audience for completed short films and low budget features.

For information about production finance, producers should see The Low Budget Funding Guide (Film Council).

For information about self-promotion to the industry, producers should see First Facts (First Film Foundation).

The format of this document is like a travel guide, following the classic routes of distribution and exhibition, with information boxes, selected contacts and a festival calendar. Key points are picked out in bold, and there’s a glossary of industry terms at the back of the Guide.

The sector is currently on the verge of enormous changes due to developments in digital technologies. For creative and financial reasons, increasing numbers of both new filmmakers and established auteurs are now shooting on DV (although digital cinema projection is still in development).

Having established global opportunities for short films, with the arrival of ADSL lines the Internet is about to offer the same for features of cultural (rather than mainstream commercial) significance. These advances do not make the traditional pleasures of festivals and cinema going obsolete, but go far in democratising access to the strong personal visions of diverse filmmakers.

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Last modified: January 16th at 9:11pm

Credit: Jane Giles