Although the role of producer has been keeping him plenty busy, Federgreen is now embarking on a new challenge… film distribution. Why?
“There are more than 200 indie films made in Canada each year, less than 10% of which are distributed,” he says. “Many of them deserve an audience.” Federgreen has lived through and witnessed the struggle that independent filmmakers go through to get a film made, only to hit the wall because the odds are that the films will never be seen. “It’s time to fix that,” he declares. “First-time feature filmmakers are trying to establish a career, and if their work can’t be seen then it’s tough to get money for the next project.” Federgreen points out that even when filmmakers do meet with some success, the struggle still looms for the release of each film. INDIECAN ENTERTAINMENT will focus on Canadian independent, low-budget (less than $1.25 million) films. As a distributor Federgreen plans to follow the same principle he has as a filmmaker; bringing Canadians films they want to watch. “I like stories that affect people, that they talk about, that they recommend to their friends.” To INDIECAN ENTERTAINMENT Federgreen brings the advantage of being a filmmaker who knows what it takes to make a film and he can help filmmakers identify their audiences and reach them. Now, in the digital age, more has to be done through social media, the Internet, and other means; the traditional route alone doesn’t cut it anymore, but films have new opportunities to find audiences with TV, Netflix, and iTunes, for example, and using websites, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media to promote and market. While recognizing the potential of new media for film releases, Federgreen also looks forward to bringing back a taste of the old days when he was growing up and, as he described, there were events for theatrical releases, such as contests for movie goers that got people into the cinemas. “We have to give people many reasons to see a film. There is a lot of competition for people’s hard-earned money – why should they see your film instead of someone else’s, or instead of a baseball game, or a concert? Why should they go to a movie theatre when films are available on demand in the comfort of their own homes?” he rationalizes. “Seeing Canadian films should become a regular occurrence and not a one-time event,” Federgreen continues. “We need to not only support Canadian production but also encourage the viewing of Canadian films by Canadian audiences. We owe it to our industry, our culture, and our country.”
Federgreen is definitely up to the challenge and believes enough in Canadian talent and Canadian storytelling to put INDIECAN ENTERTAINMENT and more Canadian indie films in the race. “We have to make it more than just going to see a movie,” he declares. How? “Music featured at film launches, Q&A sessions with directors and producers, merchandise available on site, and plenty of other surprises,” Federgreen promises.
INDIECAN ENTERTAINMENT will debut with two productions in early 2012.