Fly on the distributors' wall

Fly on the distributors’ wall
After studying, watching and working in film for half my life now, I wanted to find out more
about the section I love most: experimental film and media art. Like most of us, I navigate my
way through (media) art and experimental film via galleries, museums and, most of all, film
festivals. All three play a vital role in showcasing artist’s work, whether they are their most
recent creations or thorough and focused retrospectives. Especially for emerging talents,
exposure at festivals or galleries means an entrance into the art and festival world and
provides legitimacy that cannot be won just by showing work online. No artist would just
upload work onto a website and expect the world to find it, most will use their already
existing networks, social media and the like. However, the use of a well established platform
with connections in the art and film world would heighten visibility as well as credibility. This
is where a distributor comes in to the story: a distributor can provide artists with this platform
through their own network and website, but also by linking to other similar organisations and
thus widening the horizon. For me, it provides me with a chance to see new and exciting
work of people I haven’t heard about yet. I still remember how puzzled I was after my first
abstract animation and how thrilled after discovering new names.

So what do distributors do and what exactly do they distribute?

I had the opportunity to eavesdrop on a meeting of the Northern Countries (Sweden,
Finland, Iceland and the Netherlands were present) in Stockholm. Not only could I listen in
on current topics, problems and plans, but I got to ask them tons of questions as well. The
following is a result of these conversations as well as my own exposure to different
distributors through research and festivals.

Read the full text by Helen Westerik in PDF here.