At this year’s American Film Market, the lack of major projects and deals has left many in a holding pattern.
In the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, the film industry is facing uncertainty. However, indie filmmakers are finding hope in the success of films like ‘Five Nights at Freddy’ and Taylor Swift’s ‘Eras Tour’ that utilize alternative release models. This presents a new opportunity in the distribution business.
At this year’s American Film Market, the lack of major projects and deals has left many in a holding pattern. While A24’s upcoming sci-fi film ‘Civil War’ has generated buzz and triggered a bidding war, the independent film industry is waiting for a resolution to the strike so that new projects can move forward.
Negotiations between SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP are ongoing, and a final contract seems imminent. However, the influx of new projects and deals that will follow could create challenges, as filmmakers may struggle to find available actors and schedule slots.
In addition to the actors’ strike, dealmakers at AFM are concerned about the disruption of traditional business models in indie film caused by the rise of streaming platforms.
The windowing system, where films were sequentially licensed to different platforms, has been replaced by global all-rights deals with streamers. Some recognize the value of exclusive theatrical windows, but it remains to be seen which distribution models will ultimately succeed.
Despite the challenges, opportunities in the distribution business are present. There is a need for more domestic buyers in the U.S. market, and if theaters and streaming platforms can find a balance, success can be achieved.
Overall, the industry is eagerly awaiting the end of the strike and hoping for a resurgence of projects and deals. The changing landscape of indie film distribution poses challenges and opens up new possibilities for success.