doc films

How to Find Distribution

In addition to the information below, our programming chair hosts quarterly distribution workshops to help new programmers learn the ropes. Please contact us if you have any questions about programming.

Nontheatrical distributors

There are many distributors that Doc does not - cannot - deal with. In fact, we never deal with Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, MGM, Warner Brothers, United Artists, and many other (present and former) major Hollywood distributors. As a nontheatrical venue, we deal only with nontheatrical distributors - most often Swank Motion Pictures and Criterion Pictures, which own the rights to most Hollywood fare, old and new.

Independent distributors are another matter, however. We deal directly with many independents, though not all (e.g., Miramax is considered an independent, but their films are available only through Swank).

So, for example, do not list "Paramount" for your distribution. That does not count as a distributor. Instead, look up the film on Swank and Criterion. Chances are that one of them has it.

Finding distribution

Swank Motion Pictures and Criterion Pictures have almost all recent, mainstream American films and older and classic Hollywood films, as well as some foreign films and independents. Check these distributors first, before you look elsewhere.

If neither Swank nor Criterion has the film, your next step is to go to Internet Movie Data Base: First, look up the title of the film. When you've arrived at the film's webpage, click on "company credits" (on the left-hand side of the screen). Here, you'll see the distributor(s) listed. Once you have the name of the original distributor, check the list below to determine the current distributor.

 

Original US Distributor

Current Rights Owner

Who Has the Print?

  Buena Vista
Columbia
Disney
Dreamworks
Fine Line
First Run Features
First Run/Icarus

Fox Searchlight
IFC
Janus
Kino International
Lion’s Gate
MGM,  1923 – 1986
MGM,  1986 – Present
Milestone
Miramax
Monogram
New Line Cinema
Paramount, 1920-1929
Paramount, 1929 – 1950
Paramount, 1950 – Present
Paramount Classics
Rialto
RKO Radio Pictures
Sony Pictures
Strand Releasing
Touchstone
Twentieth Century Fox
United Artists*
Universal
Universal Focus
Warner Brothers
Zeitgeist
Walt Disney Company
Sony Entertainment
Walt Disney Company
Dreamworks
Time-Warner
First Run Features
First Run/Icarus

Twentieth Century Fox
IFC
Janus
Kino International
Lion’s Gate
Time-Warner
Sony Entertainment
Milestone
Walt Disney Company
Time-Warner
Time-Warner
Paramount Pictures
NBC-Universal
Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures
Rialto
Time-Warner
Sony Entertainment
Strand Releasing
Walt Disney Company
Twentieth Century Fox
Sony Entertainment
NBC-Universal
NBC-Universal
Time-Warner
Zeitgeist
Swank Motion Pictures
Swank Motion Pictures
Swank Motion Pictures
Swank Motion Pictures
Swank Motion Pictures
First Run Features
First Run Features or
First Run Icarus Films

Criterion Pictures
IFC
Janus
Kino International
Swank Motion Pictures
Swank Motion Pictures
Swank Motion Pictures
Milestone Films
Swank Motion Pictures
Swank Motion Pictures
Swank Motion Pictures
Library of Congress
Universal
Swank Motion Pictures
Swank Motion Pictures
Rialto Pictures
Swank Motion Pictures
Swank Motion Pictures
Strand Releasing
Swank Motion Pictures
Criterion Pictures
Swank Motion Pictures
Universal
Swank Motion Pictures
Swank Motion Pictures
Zeitgeist

Exceptions

  Paramount Hitchcock Films
Cassavetes Films
Harold Lloyd Films
Buster Keaton, 1917-1928
Chaplin Films
Universal
Castle Hill
Lloyd Estate
Douris/Classic Movies
Chaplin Estate/MK2
Swank Motion Pictures
Castle Hill Films
Sony Repertory
Kino International or Douris/Classic Movies
Modern Times, City Lights, The Great Dictator: Kino International; Other Chaplin films: MK2

  Pre-1923 and assorted “orphan films” Public Domain
Library of Congress, Kino International, Museum of Modern Art, Biograph Enterntainment, EmGee, Douris/Classic Movies, etc.

  Experimental/Avant Garde Various Canyon Cinema, Film-Makers' Cooperative, Museum of Modern Art, Douris/Classic Movies
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