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TFC August 2018 Newsletter


  • NEW BLOG POST on Educational Distribution
  • Filmmakers wanted for WOMEN ENTREPRENEUR-FOCUSED SHORTS INITIATIVE (the organization is “Unleashed” / the series is “#ConnectingThread”)
  • Help Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering spread the word about their Netflix film, THE BLEEDING EDGE, which examines the $400 billion medical device industry and the profit-driven mindset that rushes implanted devices into the marketplace without proper clinical trials
  • and last, but not least…TIDBITS

TFC Blog

Our recent blog on The Evolution of the Education Market, written by Vanessa Domico, founder of Outcast Films, is a must-read when it comes to understanding the ways in which teachers and professors can use your film in their classrooms, and how choosing an educational distributor based on their slate can actually work against your film.


Starting today, and over the next several weeks leading up to IFP in September, we will be updating and migrating our Digital Distribution Guide (DDG)—once only available to TFC members—and making it available to everybody via our website and Facebook page. This involves porting it from its existing Wiki, hosting it on our own site, giving it a truly extreme makeover, and adding a public Facebook group (username and login no longer required).

In addition to our Facebook Page, we are introducing a second Facebook group for news related to digital distribution. Starting today, you can join the TFC Digital Distribution Guide Facebook Group and DDG news will appear in your feed. (And this news feed also serves as an archive for general digital distribution news dating back to 2010, when TFC was formed!)

Additionally, by IFP we will be launching an entirely new tool related to VOD that will help filmmakers keep track of what platforms are available, what types of films and genres they offer, and the different ways one can get on them. It will also link to platform-specific news items, so you will never feel out of the loop again!

Stay tuned…

Unleashed — Call for Directors

#ConnectingThread documentary short series is seeking emerging filmmakers for upcoming episodes.

UNLEASHED is a NYC-based nonprofit organization founded by Kara Ross. Kara is an entrepreneur, donor activist and an award-winning jewelry designer whose work is recognized by the White House and art museums across the country.

The mission of UNLEASHED is to support and celebrate female artisans and entrepreneurs around the world. They are currently working on an ongoing series of documentary shorts called #ConnectingThread that focuses on female empowerment and highlights entrepreneurs and artisans through authentic storytelling.

UNLEASHED also focuses on long-term impact and sustainability through their various partnerships (the goal is to help where it’s needed): KIVA, Novica, & Mpowered to name a few. You can view them all here. Their Board of Directors is made up of Kara Ross, Susan Rockefeller and Regina K. Scully.

They have completed 3 episodes of #ConnectingThread, all directed by top Oscar®-nominated / award-winning female directors. Through intimate vérité profiles and unfettered access, the episodes provide a first-hand intimate look into the lives of the female entrepreneurs and artisans through authentic storytelling. The series is exploratory, and taps into an educational entertainment “armchair philanthropist” approach.

Episode links:

INDIA Episode
DIRECTOR: Oscar®-nominated director Amy Berg
Featuring female artisans in rural India, beading & embroidery
password: unleashed

NYC Episode
DIRECTOR: Academy®-award winning director Chris Hegedus
Featuring young women in the foster care system learning to crochet
password: connecting

DIRECTOR: Oscar®-nominated director Lucy Walker
Featuring female entrepreneurs in the food sector and urban farming
*Links coming soon*

They are further developing the series, and will continue to create documentary shorts geared toward a digital media approach that are about 6-8 minutes in length.

UNLEASHED has vetted over 200+ artisans and female entrepreneurs globally, with unique compelling stories. They are working on the creative strategy for FALL 2018 and the next 2 films:

#1 New York Fashion Week Sept. 6-14
They would like to profile 1 designer, a hair stylist, a PR Agent, a photographer, and a model to show the different perspectives and lead into a large NYC runway show.

#2 ART MIAMI Dec. 4-9
They will be profiling a female gallery owner based in NYC and a talented artist leading into Art Miami week.

At this time, we are securing talented/emerging filmmakers that have the ability to also edit and have access to film equipment.

Please contact Jaclynn Brennan, Vice President & Creative Director, UNLEASHED, if interested.

The Bleeding Edge
(Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, The Invisible WarThe Hunting Ground)


TFC Alumni Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering’s new film, The Bleeding Edge, is currently available to stream on Netflix, so please encourage friends, colleagues, and family to add it to their queues.

Additionally, please check out The Bleeding Edge’s official Facebook and Twitter pages and spread the word on social media.

The film changes lives with every screening, so the more exposure it gets, the more of an impact we can make!

Sample Tweets (feel free to personalize, etc):

  • The @FDA is supposed to protect us, not use us as guinea pigs. New isn’t always better. Share @netflix on @netflix w loved ones, community + colleagues. LINK>>
  • Watch @bleedingedgdoc that follows @EssureProblems courageous battle against #Bayer to pull #Essure from the US market. UPDATE: Bayer pulled it one week before @netflix release! Watch now >>
  • The team behind @thehuntinground exposes big medical’s impact on women’s health in the new @netflix film @bleedingedgdoc. See the film and join the battle for #patientsoverprofits:

Lastly, if you have additional ideas, would like to host a screening, or wish to reach out to the filmmakers, please contact


Variety lists the best film schools in 2018. Is your school on the list? Two notable California film schools are NOT.

Even though Amazon and Netflix are no longer buying many documentaries, that type of film is still selling if it has two elements in particular. See what is now in demand for documentary sales.

Is piracy a good marketing tool for films? We’ve covered this in our books, but here’s a case study in how one film released on pirate sites and still made $45,000 in donations.

In case you missed it, Sundance Institute’s Creative Distribution Fellowship released two very in-depth case studies on the releases of Columbus and TFC Alumni film Unrest, including information on budgets, methods and financial returns.

A financiers panel at SXSW reveals what they wish filmmakers knew before asking for money.

A24 is the current darling of the indie film distribution world. How do they choose the films they work with and release them so successfully?