Film Distribution

You make a feature film and run up a lot of debt. So now you have to sell it!

Option 1 - Find a Distributor - For low budget films under $250K most Distributors will offer you a 7 year contract but will not offer an advance payment known as a Minimum Guarantee (MG). Additionally the contract will ensure the Distributor gets their expenses paid before the filmmaker gets paid. While higher film budgets may receive an MG and ongoing royalties, for the majority of filmmakers the MG is the only payment they will ever receive.

Option 2 - Self distribute on VOD - Aggregators are used to upload your film to VOD. However Aggregators are not regulated and many are financially unstable! If they file for bankruptcy it can take years before you get your film rights back.

Option 3 - Sell on Amazon Prime - You can upload your film onto Amazon Prime but they will only pay $0.01 for every hour watched. If your film cost $50K, you'll need at least 5,000,000 people to watch it to break-even.

The independent film distribution model is financially broken.

Films on Phone

Option 4 - Distribute via Apps - Now there is a new distribution model for Independent Films and it's a free, open source, cell phone solution! Customers download an App which contains the film along with any other digital assets the filmmaker wants to sell. Filmmakers get 70% of each sale, which is paid immediately, and they also get access to an audience of 5 Billion people.


Indie makes Film

Indie creates a film, additional footage, photos and assets to use with our free template


Edit Template

Indie hires a programmer to build a new App and upload it to the Indie's App Store account



Indie use Apple & Google's free consoles to send notifications, promote & collect revenue


5 Billion Audience

Audience can download Apps, purchase, make comments and receive promotional notifications


FilmsOnPhone Flow Diagram
FilmsOnPhone Flow Diagram

New Advantages

This new distribution model enables Independent Film Producers to do the following;

  • Reach an audience of more than 5 Billion mobile phone customers
  • Sell films with In-App-Purchase
  • Get 70% of the proceeds paid directly into their bank account
  • Have films streamed from a secure, global content delivery network
  • Get access to Apple and Google free mobile analytics
  • Interact with their audience using App reviews and comments
  • Send instant messages to their audience with mobile notifications

Comparison of distribution methods to recoup a $50K and a $500K film

Method Distibutor Aggregator Amazon Mobile
Example Co Any Any Prime Apple Google
Maximum Audience Small 200M 150M 5B
Revenue per customer No MG $0 $0.008 $0.01 $0.70
Audience $50K film* NA 6.25M 5M 714K**
Break-even $50K film* No MG $0 6.25M x0.008 =$50K 5M x0.01 =$50K 714K/10 x0.70 =$50K
Break-even $500K film* MG $100K 62M x0.008 =$500K 50M x0.01 =$500K 7M/10 x0.70 =$500K

* The number of audience required to ensure the film breaks even
** Assumes only 1 in 10 who watch the free film then purchase the alternative ending. Cost is $1:00 and the Indie gets $0:70

Social Media

Social Media is entwined within our Apps so you can use it to build up an audience

  • Share App messages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Messenger, TikTok, Pinterest, YouTube or any other social media App installed on the audiences phone.
  • Keep your audience engaged with new updates
  • Tell your audience to watch the film on a big screen when it's on theatrical release or when it's broadcast on TV
  • Create live chats between your audience and the actors and use in-app-notifications to promote events.

A Working Example

FilmOnPhone is an open source project sponsored by Shooting Film and UI UX Design. Shooting Film contributed the feature film Glia and UI UX Design have contributed the open source iOS and Android Apps. Here is how the feature film Glia used this new mobile distribution model;

  • Shooting Film shot a 90 min feature film called Glia
  • Shooting Film shot an Alternative Ending for Glia
  • Shooting Film asked it's parent company UI UX Design Ltd to write an IOS and Android App
  • UI UX Design Ltd negotiated with Apple and Google to permit this new type of App
  • UI UX Design Ltd made the Glia App an open source project on Github
  • Customers can watch the feature film Glia within the App free of charge (see link below)
  • A Film Quiz was created in the App
  • If a customer wins the Quiz, they can watch the Alternative Ending free
  • If a customer fails the Quiz, they can purchase the Alternative Ending for $1.00 with an in-app-purchase
  • We uploaded the Glia App to the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store

This is how Glia used mobile film distribution, there may be other models you wish to try.

Download Apps

Download the FREE app and watch Glia FREE - 90mins no ads.
Then play the Quiz! Get 22 out of 30 correct and watch an alternative ending for FREE.
If you can't get 22 correct, just pay a small fee to watch it.

Download AppStore Download Playstore
Screenshots of free app
View App Screenshots

Play Soundtrack

Get Glia (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack).
Click on a link below

Glia (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Apple Music Spotify Amazon Music
Youtube Music Deezer Google Play
Tic Tok Facebook Pandora

Open Source Code

We decided make the Glia App Templates a free and open source project on GitHub so that other filmmakers can benefit from this new distribution model.

Download the free open source code

Contact us

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