Lights, Camera, Distribution? Film Investment Advice from the Pros

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How Festival Letdowns Have Changed the Advice of Film Investment Gurus

In recent years, the benefits of successful film investment have gone from cocktail party bragging rights to big-time financial returns that speak for themselves. With more and more high-net-worth individuals turning major profits on independent films like 2006's Little Miss Sunshine, investing in film has become yet another way for intelligent investors to diversify their portfolios - that is, if their films can somehow survive a lack of festival hype.

Traditionally, world-renowned film festivals have been responsible for some of the rare successes that make the potential investor salivate. Sundance, in particular, has produced some of the biggest indie hits; 1989's Sex, Lies and Videotape and 1994's Go Fish not only sparked fierce bidding wars, but they also became major box office hits.

However, investing based on film festival notoriety leaves many playing a guessing game that's simply not worth the gamble. More often, savvy investors have been looking for ways to guarantee success in an increasingly competitive festival landscape. As a result, many film investment gurus have started to endorse guaranteed distribution as the number one prerequisite for film investors waiting to sign the dotted line.

Independent film investment advice groups like the Film Investors Network have been emphasizing Pay-Per-View, DVD, Television syndication, and global theatrical release as the smartest thing to look for in an investment deal. And they do have a point -- over the last decade, foreign theatrical releases has accounted for approximately 40% of the total box office revenue for American films.

A representative of the Film Investors Network warned, "If you're serious about film finance as a successful portfolio option, guaranteed distribution should be your top priority. Signing on before distribution is in place could lead to disaster, especially if your film doesn't receive any of the accolades you expected it to."

But how do you get such crucial information ahead of festival screenings? Film Investors Network added that investors often seek the security of a private film finance company that can guide them with first-look access at scripts, professionals involved with the project, and the overall distribution strategy.

"As much as you would like to, you can't accurately predict which films will achieve festival hype. However, the advantage that a private film finance company can give you is risk management - that way your film still stands a very good chance of making money even if it is not a critical success."

Making money even if it's not a critical success? Now, that's certainly a surprise twist in the plot of most independent movies … one that gives all film investors good reason to applaud.

About the Film Investors Network:

Founded in 2006, the Film Investors Network (FIN) is a group of film industry professionals whose mission is to provide the ultimate film investment guide. By informing accredited investors about film investment opportunities and connecting them with top industry professionals, Film Investors Network strives to give their visitors the best shot at success.

For more information, please email FIN at: contact @


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