• How do you find out about a film?
  • What makes you want to see a film?
  • How do you know what to expect from a film?
  • What are you paying for when you buy a cinema ticket?
  • Are there some films that you just HAVE to see at the cinema or doesn’t it matter?

Answers to these questions highlight your own experience as a film viewer. But how are the answers to these questions shaped by the work of the film industry, in particular by the film distributor?

All of these experiences and choices are underpinned by a huge competitive industry that is trying to get you to see its product(s) in some way or another. Understanding the industrial aspect of the process is something we will look at next.


With over 700 films a year being released into cinemas, the choice is massive. How do some films come to stand out from others? How are these films brought to our attention?

When a film is being made it is unique, telling its own story in its own way. Once it is made it becomes a product which has to enter the marketplace and be sold to consumers (the audience). It will be ‘coming to a cinema near you’ and needs to be turned into a ‘want to see film’. Attracting audiences to buy cinema tickets is one of the key things which will be the difference between financial profit and loss. The launch of a film in cinemas can help towards its future profitability.

Even when a film is in pre-production, if it has a distributor attached, the distributor will already be thinking: ‘Who will want to see this film?’ Expanding this idea we could say ‘Why will people want to see this film?’ And ‘How do we make them want to see this film?’ To translate the who, the why and the how into actual cinema audiences is the costly, high-risk task of the professional film DISTRIBUTOR.