The FAN Distributor Slate Day took place on Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 September at Picturehouse Central in London. Led by Film Hubs London and South East, it is designed to build even stronger links between distributors and exhibitors.
The first day saw 26 distibutors – including majors and independents – present their upcoming theatrical slates, showing marketing and release information, trailers, artwork presentations, and exclusive preview footage from upcoming releases. Day one also included a networking lunch and evening drinks reception, creating opportunities for distributors and exhibitors to network, share ideas and build new and mutually beneficial relationships. The second day saw a chance for exhibitors to ‘Meet the Distributor’ and have focused 1:1 meetings with distributors and key partners, organised in a speed dating style.
Rose from Wem Town Hall reports back on day 1:
The distributor’s slate day can feel like a bit of a brain overload at times (one distributor talked about 18 titles!) but it is extremely useful to a small venue such as ourselves. We are constantly striving to improve our film programme offer by bringing less mainstream titles to our rural audience.
The distributor slate day helps us to be more informed in our programming choices. Listening to presentations and how those films are likely to be marketed to audiences in turn helps us to interpret how we would approach the marketing of those films to our specific audiences.
Over the years we have found that programming 3 to 4 months ahead generates the best numbers in audience attendance for us but brings its own problems – often having little information on the films to make our choices by. This year the distributors went further ahead in talking about their future slates which has helped us identify what the ‘banker films’ will be coming up for us but has also allowed us to prioritise other titles that we would like to take a chance on.
Attending the slate day has also helped us to prioritise films we’d like to see at the ICO screening days. This is an event I see myself going to every year because it is just so invaluable to us and I would recommend it to any film programmer/venue.
Rose attended the day with a bursary from Film Hub NWC – for more details see here.