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A MeCETES conference on the changing nature of UK film distribution

Monday, 13 June 2016

Regent Street Cinema | 309 Regent St | London W1B 2UW | UK

ImpressionFilm distribution is changing. The traditional windowing model, whereby films open exclusively in cinemas before they are introduced to the home video market, and thereafter on television, is being undermined by new release strategies. A growing number of films are now given a day-and-date release, being simultaneously shown in cinemas and online. At the same time, the shift towards direct distribution is opening up new opportunities for filmmakers and producers, with important consequences for the status of film distributors.

This event aims to highlight the issues filmmakers, producers and distributors are about to face while adapting to the changing nature of film distribution. These issues will be considered through discussion with sales agents, distributors and newly emerging players such as content aggregators and digital providers. This event, then, provides a chance for filmmakers, industry professionals and researchers to see into the future of film distribution, and predict trends and developments.

Reports and news coverage:

Conference highlights: Impressions of the event and interviews with speakers and delegates.

Opening: Agnieszka Moody (Creative Europe Desk UK) and Andrew Higson (MeCETES / University of York) on the importance of discussing the current state of UK film distribution.

Panel 1: The changing nature of  film distribution. Why does distribution through sales agents and distributors remain important to the majority of films? What type of films benefit from direct distribution? How do sales agents and distributors respond to the changing nature of film distribution?

Keynote address. Geoffrey Macnab (Trade Journalist Screen International/The Independent). Author of Delivering Dreams: A Century of British Film Distribution (2016)

Panel 2: Online film distribution. What is the current state of the online video market in the UK and what will change in the next few years? How do content aggregators and digital platform providers anticipate further growth? What is their impact on release strategies?

Panel 3: Convergence between film and TV. How does the film industry respond to the growing popularity of television series? How is television distribution changing? Can the television industry learn from film distribution models?

Roundtable discussion.


This is a collaborative knowledge exchange event between MeCETES and Creative Europe Desk UK, combining academic and industry insights to help deepen thinking. Additional funding from the University of York Creativity Theme Pump.


The event is being organised at the recently reopened London-based Regent Street Cinema, “the birthplace of cinema in Britain”.

Regent Street Cinema | 309 Regent St | London W1B 2UW | UK

More information:

Please contact Roderik Smits (email: for more information.

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