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How To Find Film Buyers So You Can Sell Your Film

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Film Buyer Relationships
  2. Popular Film Markets
  3. Film Buyer Deals
  4. TL;DR
  5. Movie Buyer Questions?
  6. Glossary

How do you find film buyers ready to make a deal?

That is the question.

If you’re like most film producers, you’ve focused the last few months on making your film.

Now that you have finally finished your movie, you want to sell it to the highest bidder. Except you have no idea what to do next.

What if there was a place where you could post your film online and suddenly get dozens of offers? 

I wish negotiating film distribution deals were that easy.

Even though we are well into the digital era, most film distribution deals are face-to-face between established sales agents and film distributors.

How To Find Movie Buyers
How To Find Movie Buyers

Film Buyer Relationships

Established sales agents and distributors have strong personal relationships with film buyers worldwide.

They know who buys what and how to close deals smoothly.

Since you don’t yet have a track record, you’ll need to be extra prepared to approach film buyers directly.

Since most film buyers deal in volume and fast transactions, selling your single feature film will be incredibly challenging.

Don’t be surprised if a buyer tells you they only work with sales agents and distributors.

When this happens, a good strategy is to find a sales agent or distributor to represent your film.

The best way to meet sales agents and distributors is by attending popular film markets. These markets include:

  • The American Film Market
  • Cannes
  • Toronto
  • Berlin

By following these film markets, you can meet people who can help you negotiate a great deal on your film.

The American Film Market takes place in November.

If you’re attending, be there for the first few days because that’s when most of the buyers are in town.

AFM is also a great place to meet other film producers, financiers, and industry heavyweights.

The Marché du Film is part of Cannes every May. Unlike the American Film Market, many attendees are film festival programmers and buyers.

Many celebrities and famous film directors also walk the red carpet.

The Marché du Film also runs Cinando, a fantastic database of film buyers and other industry professionals.

How To Find A Film Sales Agent by Tom Malloy

The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the largest film festivals in the world. It happens every September.

And unlike Cannes, most attendees are film fans and general moviegoers. However, many film industry professionals still come to Toronto to make deals.

Berlinale, also known as the Berlin International Film Festival, happens with The European Film Market every February.

It is one of the most important markets for European films. If you want to sell your movie in Europe, Berlin is an incredible experience.

Film Buyer Deals

Once you decide on the film markets you plan to attend, research sales agents and distributors who previously participated.

If they deal in your type of movie, email or telephone them. Introduce yourself and your film, and then ask if they want to meet at the market.

While it is not guaranteed, the distributor or sales agent may want to evaluate your film before it goes to the market for possible representation.

If your film is a good fit, they will make an offer. At this point, you will want to do your due diligence and ask for referrals.

Talk with the other film producers. And get your attorney to review the paperwork.

Assuming everything looks good, you will no longer attend the market “hoping” to meet film buyers.

You go to the market with the professional credibility that comes with representation.

As long as you are easy to work with and professional, you will begin to build long-term personal relationships.

Check out my film distribution course if you’d like to discover additional strategies.

TL;DR

You’ve finished your film and are now wondering how to sell it. Here’s the scoop: It’s not as simple as posting it online and watching the offers roll in.

Most film deals still happen in person, typically through sales agents and distributors with tight relationships with film buyers.

If you’re new to this and lack a track record, you must be prepared and professional when approaching these buyers directly. Don’t get discouraged if they prefer dealing with established agents—it’s just the game.

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Finding a reputable sales agent or distributor to represent your film is a solid move. What is your best bet for making these connections?

Hit up major film markets like the American Film Market, Cannes, or Berlin. These places are buzzing with potential contacts that can help you get a sweet deal for your movie. So, gear up, be ready to network hard, and remember, it’s all about who you know and how you present your film.

Questions About Movie Buyers?

Here are some common questions, along with answers you might have about finding people who buy movies.

How do I find buyers for my indie film?

To find buyers for your indie film, consider networking at major film markets like the American Film Market, Cannes, or Berlin, where you can connect with sales agents and distributors experienced in dealing with film buyers.

Can I sell my film without a sales agent?

It’s tough but not impossible. However, most film buyers prefer to work with established sales agents and distributors because they deal in volume and fast transactions.

What is the American Film Market?

The American Film Market (AFM) is a global marketplace where production and distribution deals are made. It happens every November and is a prime spot for meeting buyers and networking with other industry professionals.

Should I attend film markets to sell my movie?

Absolutely. Attending film markets like AFM, Cannes, or Berlin is crucial as they offer the opportunity to meet sales agents, distributors, and even film buyers directly.

How do I prepare to sell my film at a market?

Be professional and ready to pitch your film effectively. Research sales agents and distributors who have worked with films similar to yours and plan to meet them. Having a clear and concise presentation of your film’s potential can make a big difference.

What if a film buyer only works with Sales agents?

This is common. If a buyer prefers to work only with agents, securing representation from a reputable sales agent or distributor who can negotiate on your behalf is your next step.

How do I choose the right sales agent or distributor for my film?

Look for someone with a track record of similar films who seems enthusiastic about your project. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and talk to other producers who have worked with them.

What are the benefits of having a sales agent?

A sales agent has established relationships with buyers and understands the market dynamics, which can greatly enhance your film’s chances of being sold effectively and at a better price.

How can I maximize my film’s appeal to potential buyers?

Ensure your film fits into a genre that is currently popular and has a market. Having recognizable actors can also add commercial appeal, making your film more attractive to buyers.

What should I do if my film doesn’t sell immediately?

Stay patient and proactive. Continue attending other film markets, and possibly reassess and adjust your strategy. Sometimes, securing distribution takes time and persistence.

Can social media help me sell my film?

Building a strong social media presence can attract attention to your film and create a fan base, which can appeal to buyers looking for marketable content.

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How To Get Film Distribution

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Discover how to attract and effectively negotiate with sales agents and distributors for your film. This course equips you with the skills and strategies to navigate the complex world of film distribution to sell your movie.

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Glossary

You’ll likely hear some of these terms while networking with potential buyers for your movie. Knowing who these people are and what they are talking about will help you navigate the world of film distribution and sales.

Film Buyer: A person or company that acquires the rights to distribute a film in specific markets or territories.

Sales Agent: A professional representing films and filmmakers at markets and negotiates distribution deals.

Distributor: An entity responsible for the marketing and distributing a film in various formats and platforms across different regions.

Film Market: Events and venues like the American Film Market or Cannes where industry professionals buy, sell, and promote films and film-related services.

AFM (American Film Market): An international film industry event held each November in Santa Monica, where producers, distributors, and other industry professionals make deals.

Cannes: Refers to the Cannes Film Festival and the Marché du Film, a major film market held in Cannes, France, where filmmakers and distributors showcase and sell their films.

Toronto International Film Festival: One of the world’s largest publicly attended film festivals, known for being an important platform for filmmakers to launch their careers and sell their films.

Berlinale (Berlin International Film Festival) is a major film festival held annually in Berlin, Germany. It includes the European Film Market.

Film Distribution is making a film available to the audience, including theatrical release, digital platforms, and home media.

Film Representation: The act of having a sales agent or distributor manage the promotion and sales of a film to potential buyers and markets.

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ARTICLE BY Tom Malloy

Tom Malloy is a film producer, actor, and writer. Over the course of his career, he has raised over twenty-five million dollars to produce, and distribute multiple feature films. If you're ready to "level up" your film producing, make sure to check out Movie Plan Pro. The video training and downloadable film business plan template will provide you with the same tools Malloy uses when approaching prospective film investors.