What Distributors at Sundance Want

Neon

“We’re totally agnostic to things like budget, scale of release, genre, and language. If I can describe it to a room full of non-film industry people and it generates conversation, that’s a good start.”

SUBMISSIONS: Mostly through sales agencies, but a brief and compelling email can go a long way.

The Orchard

“We’re looking for unique voices and viewpoints, innovative filmmaking, inspiring storytelling—films that we’re excited to work on and filmmakers that we’re eager to collaborate with. We work with established auteurs as often as up-and-coming filmmakers, and we’re always looking to expand our brand and push ourselves to release content that energizes and impassions audiences.”

SUBMISSIONS: Blind submissions accepted, but most films come through sales agencies and producers.

Prolific Pictures

“We have two criteria for acquiring a film: 1) we feel the film is of high enough quality, which includes production value, directing, performance and above all storytelling, and 2) we feel we can help the filmmaker recoup what they spent to make the film. We are interested in longterm partnerships, and the success of our filmmakers is as important to us as our success.”

SUBMISSIONS: Open to unsolicited submissions.

Roadside Attractions

“A film that speaks to us on multiple levels. We are seeking artistic and commercially minded acquisitions with a strong point of view. We must feel like we can identify the audience for a film and have confidence that we know how to reach that audience. Positive reviews are also important for us, or films we anticipate will be critically embraced.”

SUBMISSIONS: No open submission; only through established agencies and producers.

Samuel Goldwyn

“We are looking for a number of factors when we acquire a film… First and foremost, we look to find films that we feel have an audience that we can reach. But we also like to work with burgeoning talent and on films that we feel have a strong voice.”

SUBMISSIONS: Blind submission accepted.

Seed & Spark

“Production Value – Shot well on a good camera, sound has been mixed well, color correction has been done, writing is nuanced, etc. Compelling & Interesting Story – avoid tropes; Is the story unique? Have we seen this before? Are you engaged from beginning to end? Inclusion on and/or off screen – Looking for inclusive representation which can mean anything from ethnicity to sexuality, gender identity, socio-economic status, geographic, culture, language, etc. The 3 Why’s – Why this story? Why now?Why is this person the right one to tell it?”

SUBMISSIONS: Blind submission encouraged.

Sony Pictures Classics

“Films that are dynamic enough in their storytelling, cinematic quality, execution and performances to draw people to see them in commercial movie theaters; films that reflect the culture in which we’re living and generate conversation among critics, journalists and opinion makers in addition to general audiences.”

SUBMISSIONS: No unsolicited submissions.

Strand Releasing

“We look for festival pedigree, critical hits and foreign films. We’re known for foreign films but also have taken on American indie titles such as Spa Night, Puccini for Beginners, The Dying Gaul, Lovesong, and Transfiguration. Regarding American vs. international title acquisition, you never know what is in the marketplace and what film will appeal to us.”

SUBMISSIONS: Recommendation through filmmaker or though film festival screening.

Vertical Entertainment

Commerciality”

SUBMISSIONS: All manners of submissions.

Virgil

“If it can make money first, the message second.”

SUBMISSIONS: All open submissions are reviewed.

Well Go Entertainment

“We’re looking for titles that come with a hook we can use in marketing the film. Be it name cast, critical acclaim/festival credibility, or just a strong angle from which we can generate interest. Our core audience is younger, so we do look for films that skew a bit younger. We love genre films, but we regularly pick films up outside of that space- really, at the end of the day, we’re looking for a great movie.”

SUBMISSIONS: Prefer submissions through agencies, producer reps, and festival programming.

Wolfe Video

“LGBT genre exclusively”

SUBMISSIONS: Blind submissions accepted.

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