Date: Dec. 17th
Time: 1pm – 5pm
Venue: Shridath Ramphal Center, University Hill, UWI, Barbados.
The second in a series of planned regional workshops on Film Distribution and Marketing will take place on Saturday the 17th December, 1-5 pm at the Shridath Ramphal Center, UWI, Cave Hill.
Hosted by CaribbeanTales Worldwide Distribution and led by international fllmmaker and CEO of CTWD Frances-Anne Solomon, this participatory workshop — entitled “How to make money off films” — will be intorduced by Creative Industries Expert Dr Keith Nurse, and is co-presented with the Barbados Film and Video Association and the Shridath Ramphal Center at UWI. style=”font-size: small;”emThe event will focus on principles of marketing and distribution of audio visual content with a focus on Caribbean film and television, and is targetted at filmmakers and industry stakeholders, and is also open to members of the private sector, broadcast industry, and wider media who are interested in broadening their understanding of the opportunities and challenges of distributing filmed Caribbean content in the Digital Age.
The cost of the workshop is $50 Bdos or $25 US. Enrollment is limited to 30 persons so please register early for this unique event. To reserve a place, or for more information pls email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOLOMON: Filmmakers Must Be Mindful of Markets
| Reprinted from the Trinidad Guardian | Saturday December 3rd 2011.
So, you’re a filmmaker. You’ve purchased the latest digital movie camera and you’ve made your very first film. Now what? According to Toronto-based filmmaker Frances-Anne Solomon, many Caribbean movie makers find themselves in just this position, with a product in hand and nowhere to sell it. With the affordability of the technology, she said in an interview, film production took off a few years ago here. Everybody can make a film now. But many movie makers don’t even consider the business end before setting out to make films. A lot of filmmakers don’t understand how distribution works, internationally, she said.
They seek funding and make movies without asking basic questions like, How is it going to make money? Who is my market? Is it viable? How much can it make, and therefore how much can it be made for? Without critical thought about business models, markets and distribution, many films are doomed to languish unseen, or worse, unsalable. Solomon, who is the founder and CEO of Caribbean Tales Worldwide Distribution, was in Trinidad to deliver a workshop on how to promote and distribute films on the international stage. She has joined forces with Animae Caribe (currently celebrating its tenth year) and the Trinidad and Tobago Film Company, for the first in a series of regional workshops on International Film Distribution.
Entitled Taking Caribbean Films to the World, the session took place on November 19, from 1-5 pm at Trinidad and Tobago Film Company, Bretton Hall, Victoria Avenue, Port-of-Spain.
It began with an Opening Adress by Trinidad and Tobago Film Company Chairman Dr Christopher Laird. who along with Animae Caribe CEO Camille Abrahams, co-presented the session. Aimed at film and television producers, film industry stakeholders and film and animation students, it covered principles of marketing and distribution of Caribbean content, and ways to work with international distributors. When I started as a filmmaker over 30 years ago, Solomon said, I found no market. It was necessary to create a vehicle to sell my films. That’s why we started CTWD.”
Solomon is the driving force behind Caribbean Tales, an annual film festival based in Toronto, Canada, which features Caribbean and Caribbean diaspora movies. The festival has taken off, expanded now to New York and Barbados, where she has her Caribbean base. The T&T native is now looking to forge links with the local industry, lending her expertise to developing the burgeoning sector.
Need for local markets
One major impediment for local filmmakers, Solomon says, is the absence of a local market. There is no market domestically. Television stations do not support local content in any way. And this is really critical.
Broadcasters still think filmmakers are supposed to pay them. She contrasted the local situation with what obtains in other places, where they have found ways to make it profitable.
In Latin America, they produce hundreds of telenovelas every year, for television. In Canada, filmmakers partner with government and businesses to create sustainable markets that are mutually beneficial. In the US, it’s fuelled by advertisements. She said without a domestic market, local films lack a test audience. We lose the opportunity to build industry skills through the cycle of creation, production, marketing and screening. And without a local market, it’s that much harder