How to distribute a movie without a distributor

9 10 2010

So, you are a young director. And with your friends you have shot you first movie. Probably, now you want to show it to an audience. You could take a projector and a screen and bring it door by door. But it isn’t good for your health. Otherwise, you could send your movie to a distribution company and pray them to put into cinema. But also this choice could be unhealthy if you live in Italy.

In Italy, movie distribution is in the hands of two main companies: 01Distribution and Medusa. The most of the theaters are directly controlled by these two majors. The independent theaters are disappearing one by one; the main reason is that projecting movies seems not to be anymore a successful business. So, the theater’s owners are converting their spaces into malls, apartments or ugly small casinos.
In small words, in Italy is really difficult for a small independent feature film to reach the audience. Anyway, sometimes, it happen.

The director Vittorio Moroni has shot in 2003 his first movie “Tu Devi Essere Il Lupo” (“You Must Be The Wolf”), using a state fund by which the italian government help young director to create their first feature film. Unfortunately, he didn’t received the money to distribute the movie. Instead of throwing down himself with his movie from an high cliff, Vittorio Moroni founded and association called “Myself” and started getting euros, one by one, from the future audience of his feature film. With an offer of 5 euros (almost the price of a movie ticket in a small theather in Italy) you could have a coupon that you can use as a ticket when the movie would have been available in a theather near you. With this tricky method, Vittorio Moroni piled up 50,000 euros, the essential to bring “Tu Devi Essere Il Lupo” into a small group of theathers.


I know that it is difficult to understand for a “yankee”. Anyway, in Italy, if you are an independent director, and you want to distribute your a feature film, you “need” to have money, instead of getting money from distributors.

In the middle 2006, the italian director Alex Infascelli, after two movies distributed by majors, decided to “jump” the theathers and arrive directly to the audience. His feature film “H2Odio” (“H2Hate), a low budget thriller, has been sold with the most important italian newspaper, “La Repubblica”, with a small overprice.

Another way to spread a movie without a distributor is, of course, using the world wide web.
In the case of “Torno Subito”, ready at the end of 2008, (“I’ll Be Back Soon”), my first feature film, we decided to distribute it using all the potential of the web. And we decided to distribute it for free to maximize its visibility. Actually  the movie is hosted – for free – by a platform called “OpenFilm” that offers a streaming in full HD 1080p with subtitles in various languages. There are also some competitors raising up, and i think that we will test them to find the best free service.
Passing of the words on social networks was the key for success. The Facebook community tested our movie before the official launch. The community made possible to correct several problems due to the various streaming services that we tried to use.
Once the movie was available in streaming – and the streaming seemed to work well – we started an hard work becoming “a pain” for all the main italian bloggers.
Being our movie the world’s first movie for the web in HD – without breaking any law, of course -, some italian “blogstars” decided to talk about us and our “mad experiment” . Using the hype created by the “blogosphere” as a launch pad, we involved the most important newspapers and news agencies.
Without earning any money from distribution, “Torno Subito” has been watched by more than a million of persons in Italy, a result that in our country is really difficult to reach also for the most important projects.
Our movie is still available online in free HD streaming with english subs:




One response

14 10 2010

i really like this post, you are good

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