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Image of Desiree Akhavan in Independent Spirit Award nominee Appropriate Behaviour, which went through the Build Your Audience course

New digital distribution scheme gives independent films a boost

Date posted: 21.08.2015

Film London, We Are Colony and Edge Hill University have announced the next phase of their innovative new digital distribution research project. The scheme aims to empower filmmakers and enhance digital film releases by giving audiences access to exclusive online content.

“Film London exists to help connect ideas, finance and talent at every stage of the filmmaking process” said Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, “so a project which helps our industry capitalise on new technologies while exploring innovative ways to engage audiences is a perfect fit for us.”

Empowering filmmakers

The We Are Colony platform has account holders in over 100 countries, and works hands-on with licensors to deliver marketing, content, and creative. The research component of the scheme will explore the rapidly-evolving world of video on demand and the potential for increased audience engagement through additional content. Cecilia Frugiuele, producer of Appropriate Behaviour, said: “[This] is an empowering tool for filmmakers. It encourages them to think of audience engagement earlier in production, helping them shape their future distribution strategy. The international reach of the platform is also a way for producers and sales agents to be in control of their film’s destiny offering new ways to exploit a title without a traditional distributor.”

Engaging audiences

With growing audience demand for exclusive additional content, the scheme will explore ways filmmakers can satisfy this need. This includes We Are Colony’s ‘special edition bundles’, which offer films with a range of additional and behind-the-scenes content, and a pre-sale model where users pay early for extra content ahead of general release.

Containment producer Christine Hartland said: “As independent filmmakers we’re very aware of the crowded marketplace for indie British thrillers, and are excited about the possibilities of offering our audience more than just a conventional cinema experience. By connecting with audiences early and building their investment in the film, we intend to build a fan base even ahead of release”.

About the films

The slate offers a snapshot of independent production in the UK, with films across a range of budgets and themes.

The seven participating films are Appropriate Behaviour (a graduate of Film London's distribution training course Build Your Audience), Benedict Cumberbatch road movie Third Star, Alternative Miss World documentary The British Guide To Showing Off (funded by Film London’s Microwave), 'Alice in Wonderland' tale Electricity, British drama We Are Monster (another participant in our Build Your Audience scheme), high-concept thriller Containment, and award-winning short film Some Candid Observations on the Eve of the End of the World, which was funded by Film London’s London Calling. 

This project has been made possible by the Digital R&D fund for the Arts.

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