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Hybrid Distribution: A Case Study

DIY distribution for indie doc filmmakers is the Holy Grail but what if you could also partner with a highly regarded distributor and bring their expertise and resources to your film’s distribution strategy to more successfully reach your film’s fan base? Learn how the filmmaker behind CRAZY WISDOM raised funds via KickStarter and the Buddhist community; met fans; produced the film; set-up the premier at the Rubin Museum in NYC ; and then partnered with Alive Mind Cinema, who expanded the theatrical release; offered the film direct for VOD; promoted to the educational market; partnered with Tricycle Magazine and Daily Dharm;, and reached out to their own community screening network to increase the film’s presence and revenue across all audiences. The special edition DVD streeted in time for the holidays and was released on Netflix’s streaming service through Kino Lorber’s Netflix output deal. In the meantime, the filmmaker started her next film without having to become

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Are their specific types of films that are well suited for hybrid distribution? If so, what are the characteristics?
  2. Wouldn't the filmmaker have made more money if she had managed the entire release herself? Why share the pie with a distributor?
  3. At what stage should a distributor be invited to work on a film's release? Don't they usually want to manage the entire release, starting with the theatrical premier?
  4. What specific resources did Alive Mind Cinema bring to the table that the filmmaker didn't have access to herself?
  5. Did the film have a festival strategy? How important was KickStarter to launching the film and building a fan base?



Elizabeth Sheldon, Vice President, Kino Lorber

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