Adversity Inspires Creative Distribution Option

Necessity is the mother of invention. That’s how Chann Berry and Bill Duke stumbled upon a brilliant distribution model for their 2012 documentary ‘Dark Girls.’

The beauty of access to digital production is often not matched by enthusiasm from distributors who want to risk their budgets on every film makers project. Dark Girls was very personal to Chann, as he explains below.

Despite the passion and purpose Chann and others brought to the project, Hollywood insiders didn’t see Dark Girls as a product fit for theatrical distribution. But instead of leaving their finished work dead in the water, Chann and the team found another way. Here Chann explains what happened at the Toronto Film Festival, and how adversity made way for inspiration.

This is an excellent exercise in getting back to the basics. Chann realized there was another way to find and deliver to his audience. His improvised plan was so effective, it begs the question, with equal investment and plain vanilla marketing, were the industry insiders right? Was this not a film that should be distributed the traditional way? It can get frustrating to ‘what if’ after the fact, but its a credit to Chann and his team that they were able to distribute their film successfully and profitably.

What  ‘unorthodox’ means have you used to distribute your film?

Special thanks to Melanna Gray for this interview!





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