Non-Theatrical Distribution – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Film Distribution Glossary Terms

I. What is Non-Theatrical Distribution?

Non-theatrical distribution refers to the distribution of films outside of traditional movie theaters. This can include distribution to educational institutions, libraries, museums, film festivals, community centers, and other non-traditional venues. Non-theatrical distribution allows filmmakers to reach a wider audience and generate revenue from screenings in non-traditional settings.

II. What are the different types of non-theatrical distribution?

1. Educational Distribution: Films distributed to schools, colleges, and universities for educational purposes.
2. Library Distribution: Films distributed to public and private libraries for patrons to borrow and view.
3. Museum Distribution: Films distributed to museums for exhibition as part of special events or exhibits.
4. Film Festival Distribution: Films distributed to film festivals for screening to audiences of film enthusiasts.
5. Community Center Distribution: Films distributed to community centers for screenings as part of community events or programs.

III. How does non-theatrical distribution differ from traditional theatrical distribution?

Non-theatrical distribution differs from traditional theatrical distribution in several ways. Traditional theatrical distribution involves the release of a film in movie theaters for a limited time, with ticket sales generating revenue for the filmmakers. Non-theatrical distribution, on the other hand, involves the distribution of films to non-traditional venues where audiences may not pay for tickets but where filmmakers can still generate revenue through licensing fees or screening fees.

IV. What are the benefits of non-theatrical distribution for filmmakers?

1. Expanded Audience: Non-theatrical distribution allows filmmakers to reach a wider audience beyond traditional movie theaters.
2. Revenue Opportunities: Filmmakers can generate revenue through licensing fees, screening fees, and other means in non-theatrical distribution.
3. Marketing and Promotion: Non-theatrical distribution can help filmmakers build buzz and generate interest in their films through screenings at film festivals, educational institutions, and other venues.
4. Longevity: Films distributed non-theatrically can have a longer lifespan and continue to generate revenue for filmmakers over time.

V. How can filmmakers navigate the non-theatrical distribution landscape?

1. Research: Filmmakers should research different non-theatrical distribution options and identify potential venues for their films.
2. Networking: Building relationships with distributors, film festivals, and other industry professionals can help filmmakers navigate the non-theatrical distribution landscape.
3. Licensing Agreements: Filmmakers should negotiate licensing agreements that protect their rights and ensure they receive fair compensation for their work.
4. Marketing and Promotion: Filmmakers should actively promote their films to attract audiences and generate interest in non-theatrical distribution screenings.

VI. What are some examples of successful non-theatrical distribution strategies?

1. Educational Outreach: Filmmakers can partner with schools and universities to screen their films for students and educators, generating revenue through licensing fees.
2. Film Festival Circuit: Submitting films to prestigious film festivals can generate buzz and attract attention from distributors and industry professionals.
3. Community Screenings: Organizing screenings at community centers, libraries, and other non-traditional venues can help filmmakers reach new audiences and generate revenue through screening fees.
4. Online Platforms: Distributing films through online platforms such as Vimeo On Demand or Amazon Prime can reach a global audience and generate revenue through digital sales and rentals.