This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

Your Film's Unique Digital Distribution Strategy

#sxsw #digitalnow

Since its inception, digital distribution has promised independent filmmakers direct access to audiences, but has it delivered? In this panel, three pioneers of digital distribution – Snag Films, Pre Screen, EPIX and Fandor – will explore this question and discuss the ways in which independent filmmakers can bring their films to digital audiences. Moderated by Richard Lorber, President & CEO of Kino Lorber, each digital platform will discuss their success (and failures), the evolution of their business models, the changing world of free, and what options filmmakers have to access the widest online audience possible through such platforms as cable VOD and SVOD and (drum roll) how to make money. For filmmakers seeking a frank and open discussion about the best way to approach the digital marketplace (whether by working with a distributor or going it alone), this is a not-to-be-missed panel dealing with the next frontier of indie film distribution.


MODERATOR Richard Lorber Pres. & CEO Kino Lorber

Richard Lorber is the President and CEO of Kino Lorber Inc., the company that was established three years ago through his acquisition of Kino International Corp., the 30 year old leader in the release of acclaimed world cinema, award winning american independent films and classics. Kino Lorber, with a distinguished library of over 700 titles, acquires and releases over 20 new films per year theatrically on its three labels, Kino Lorber, Kino Classics and Alive Mind Cinema as well as over 60 per year digitally and on dvd and blu-ray. Its digital output deals and key relationships extend to over a dozen leading platforms including Netflix, Amazon, Vudu, YouTube, Hulu, Snag Films and others; the company also deploys an in-house e-toolbox for digital marketing and direct to consumer VOD offerings from its own sites. Recent theatricals that played markets across the U.S. are are: Poetry (Cannes prize winner), Le Quattro Volte, City of Life and Death, Jean Luc Godard's "Film Socialisme" and "Mill and the Cross"  with Rutger Hauer and Charlotte Rampling, among others. The Company's "transformative" documentaries under its Alive Mind Cinema banner including the "El Bulli: Cooking in Progress", about molecular gastronomy at the world's most famous avant garde restaurant, and "Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow" about the artist Anselm Kiefer and his transformation of a village in France into a sculptural installation. Soon to be released are "Kumare", last year's SXSW audience award winner and "Elles" starring Juliette Binoche, key titles among a new slate of over a dozen films.
An industry pioneer with over thirty years experience, Mr. Lorber was the co-founder and head of Fox Lorber, which he later merged into the telecom WinStar. As Co-Chairman of WinStar TV and Video, he also led the acquisition of Wellspring Media. Mr. Lorber subsequently founded and served for 6 years as President of Koch Lorber Films, partnered with the company now known as Entertainment 1, where he released such classics as La Dolce Vita and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and important recent films such as Chop Shop (R.Bahrani) and Andrez Wajda’s Katyn.

Before his business career, Richard Lorber earned bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees from Columbia University and spent several years teaching art history (Assistant Professor, New York University), and as an art critic (Artforum). He was also an adjunct instructor in The New School’s Media Studies graduate division. The French government has honored him with the “Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.” He is also Chairman of the Board of Film Forum, America’s pre-eminent non-profit cinema for art house films and documentaries.

Shawn Bercuson Founder/CEO Prescreen

Shawn is the Founder and CEO of Prescreen, and an angel investor focused on social commerce and new media platforms. Before relocating to San Francisco, Shawn was a Principal at Chicago-based Lightbank, an early stage, technology venture fund focused on applying technology to fragmented industries. Prior to Lightbank, he was VP of Business Development at online collective buying pioneer Groupon. In September 2008, Shawn joined as VP of Business Development where he was instrumental in transforming the collective action platform ThePoint into Groupon as we know it today. In 2007, Shawn founded CapAlly - an online peer to peer student loan marketplace and social network.

Before getting involved in the start-up world, Shawn was an asset manager for Black Diamond Capital Management, a multi-billion dollar alternative asset management firm. Shawn started his career as a trader for TransMarket Group, where he traded a diverse portfolio of financial products on multiple global exchanges including the Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, EUREX, and LIFFE. Shawn holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Vanderbilt University.

Jonathan Marlow VP Acquisitions & Dev Fandor

Fandor co-founder Jonathan Marlow is an accomplished cinematographer, composer and curator as well as an idiosyncratic filmmaker with more than twenty-five short films and video installations to his credit. In the decade prior to his role as Vice President of Acquisitions and Development for the Fandor service, Marlow was affiliated with a number of technology-centric film-related companies (such as Amazon, GreenCine and VUDU) and film exhibition institutions (namely San Francisco Cinematheque and the Seattle International Film Festival, among others). He is known to regularly draw on his disparate industry experience in numerous articles and interviews on issues pertaining to the motion picture business. Concurrently, Marlow hosts intermittent film screenings throughout the country showcasing remarkable cinematic works that are otherwise unavailable elsewhere.

Stephanie Sharis COO SnagFilms

Jill Burkhart Dir, Film & Documentary Programming EPIX

Jill most recently served as the Executive Director of the Nantucket Film Festival, which she founded along with her brother Jonathan Burkhart in 1996. Throughout her tenure at the Nantucket Film Festival, Burkhart oversaw content and programming, including serving as a curator of the film program, developing panel topics, selecting scripts and cast for readings, and cultivating relationships with screenwriters, filmmakers, and industry executives. Previously, Burkhart worked with Madstone Films as a curator for its Very Indie Film Series and also lead the Screenwriters Colony, a month long writing retreat for screenwriters to work on their scripts with industry professionals. Jill attended New York University for Theatre and The New School for Film.

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