Windrose Sheds Light on International Distribution Contracts at MIPTV
At this year's edition of MIPTV, Pauline Mazenod (CEO of documentary distributor Windrose) held a presentation at the Creative Europe stand on international distribution contracts and what to consider when looking into distribution opportunities for documentary films.
Doc-industry consultant Peter Hamilton recently published an article on his website summarizing the key take-aways of a presentation on international distribution contracts held by Windrose CEO Pauline Mazenod at the Creative Europe stand during this year's edition of MIPTV.
Considering the many aspects that are relevant for closing distribution deals, it seems quite challenging to provide a compact overview of the subject — but that's exactly what Mazenod did with her presentation. Her list of helpful guidelines starts off by making the necessary distinction between Distributors and Sales Agents:
• A distributor differs from a sales agent in that they make unilateral decisions: the distributor legally licenses your product and sells it in their own name
• By entering into an agreement with them you are giving up your own selling rights
• International distributors may work with local sales agents in certain markets
When it comes to managing and selling the rights of an author's works, especially with a view on exclusive rights for different territories, there are various key aspects filmmakers should know about and take into consideration:
• Most of the time distributors need to get exclusive rights because they are selling exclusive rights, and need international rights because they close multi-territory contracts.
• The business model of distribution companies is to get all of the rights except for the ones sold to finance the film as well as a few specific rights the producer wants to exploit himself (for example, public screening rights).
• It is a good idea for a producer to keep non-exclusive public screening rights, for example to show at a festival or for an association.
• Each type of buyer has different standard extended rights associated with it – for example, selling to TV stations or DVD publishers always includes giving up VOD rights.
• It’s almost impossible to try to keep VOD rights – almost all buyers request these.
The complete overview of take-aways can be found on Peter Hamilton's site documentarytelevision.org.
Windrose is an independent French-German distribution company distributing high-quality documentaries and live performances to the general public all across the globe. The company's editorial line is centered on arts & culture (including music, dance, cinema, fine arts, etc. ), social issues & current affairs (politics, economy, CSR, sport, etc.), science & history as well as discovery & ethnology. Windrose's clients are major broadcasters from around the world including TV stations such as SVT, Al Jazeera, Czech Television, RTBF, TV Kultura and many others.
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