IDFA Industry Talk: The State of Documentary Distribution 2023

IDFA 2023 hosted an industry talk by Elissa Federoff (NEON), featuring insights from Claire Diao (Sudu Connexion), Carlos Gutierrez (Cinema Tropical), Salma Abdalla (Autlook Film Sales), Graham Fulton (Conic) and Artur Liebhart (Against Gravity).

Moderator: Leo Barraclough (Variety)

Main Points:

  1. Trending Genres:

True crime, celebrity, and sports documentaries are currently very popular.

  1. Global Marketing Approach:

Emphasize a global perspective in marketing strategies to reach a wider audience.

  1. Innovative Use of Archival Footage:

Utilize archival footage in new formats to enhance the storytelling and engage viewers.

  1. Immersive Experiences:

Expand the documentary into an experience beyond traditional formats, providing audiences with a more immersive and interactive engagement.

  1. Sense of Urgency:

Create a sense of urgency around documentary releases, potentially by tying them to current events or relevant cultural moments.

  1. Targeting Habituée Audiences:

Tailor content to habitual documentary viewers, understanding their preferences and expectations.

  1. Appealing to Younger Audiences:

Capture the attention of younger audiences by presenting content that is new, big, and different from traditional documentary formats.

  1. Emphasizing Specific Documentary Types:

Music documentaries, event documentaries, and sports documentaries are noted to be particularly effective in gaining attention and building connections with audiences.

This discussion highlights the evolving landscape of documentary filmmaking and distribution, emphasizing the importance of staying innovative, global-minded, and in tune with audience preferences.