1+1=2 How To Get Distribution For Your Film

Okay, this isn't the only answer, and I don't have the energy to do a comprehensive list, yet... but as I sorted through my various AM emails, a saw a common theme in two of them.

One: A B-Side email blast reminded me that Todd Sklar's Range Life Fall NW Tour kicked off last weekend. I have found Todd's taking-it-to-the-people traveling film fest in a van truly exciting. If I could do that list of exciting developments in the truly free ring this would be one of those things. I for one was particularly intrigued to see that MYSTERY TEAM was one of the films in the tour.
Two: In an overview of Brit DIY for The Guardian today, the UK DIY hit MORRIS is compared with other unseen DIY films and it is pointed out:
What saved Morris was a trip to the countryside: they organised a tour around the village halls of south-west England, where their film became a word-of-mouth hit. That allowed its makers to bypass the distributors and go straight to the exhibitors. Morris was finally picked up by the Picturehouse cinema chain, which agreed to roll it out on wider release, beginning last week.

It makes me wonder what would happen if a filmmaker, either on their own or working with a grassroots community film organizer, acted immediately after hearing they were invited to a major festival to book their film in small community non-theatrical venues without waiting for that never-to-arrive distribution offer -- you know: instead, take it directly to the people and prove the film's playability. In fact, as Todd has shown such playability with his own film BOX ELDER, even without that major festival acceptance.
The math here adds up: Know your audience. Bring the film to that right audience. Don't subscribe to a passive discovery process. You are the fuel. Light a match.
Additional Note: via Facebook, director Tom Quinn informed us:
"We just booked a week-long theatrical run in Philadelphia through Landmark for The New Year Parade and are going to see how that community-based release works for us. Will keep you posted!"

Petitions For A Wider Release?

Well, it seems like petitions have worked to secure a low budget film a wider release. Morris: A Life With Bells On got 9000 folks to request the film and now they have 50 datesin the UK. Read about it here.

How about that? Add that to the arsenal of tools that you have to get your film booked. I wonder if anyone has used iPetitions.com or the like to similar effect. And if not, why not?