3 Things Filmmakers Should Know About Distributors — Josephina Sykes

Film Courage: How have distribution deals changed from when you first began making films?

Josephina Sykes, Filmmaker: Distribution changed a lot. Period. We used to actually make movies. That’s how our production company started. We used to make movies directly for distributors so that was a different process. Then the industry changed a lot and then we basically started to do more getting money from private investors, make the movie and then you shop it around and that’s where we are at right now. Basically we make the movie, then we shop around, see who is out there and also based on your past experience, how you are treated before by other distributors, you are trying to avoid…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).



Born in Bucharest, Romania, Josephina fell in love with film from a young age, encouraged by her uncle, a Director of Photography for the National Television channel. Spending her childhood on soundstages and screening rooms created a passion for storytelling that led her to attend the National Film School in 1995. While there, she organized international film festivals, worked as a copywriter, and wrote several 35mm shorts. She also spent a semester at La FEMIS film school in Paris, France in 1998 after being awarded a scholarship by the French Foreign Ministry. After graduating with a major in screenwriting, she worked for the country’s two largest film studios, Castel Film and Media Pro Pictures. Since relocating to Los Angeles in 2001, Josephina continued to work in film, both as a screenwriter and in production on indie features including BACK BY MIDNIGHT, LORD OF THE VAMPIRES, THE HALFWAY HOUSE and GRAND JUNCTION. In 2004, together with her husband, writer/director Brad Sykes, founded Nightfall Pictures, a full-service development and production company. She has since produced four feature films, thriller WITHIN THE WOODS, drama COLD ONES (starring C. Thomas Howell and Geoffrey Lewis) and the sci-fi actioner MUTATION. 




Related videos:

5 Things Filmmakers Should Know About Self-Distribution — Josh Folan

What Nobody Is Going To Tell You About Film Distributors — Mark Harris

How To Distribute An Independent Movie

Red Flags Of A Movie Distribution Deal by Mark Heidelberger

How AFM Helped A Filmmaker Find Distribution by Keith Sutliff



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This is the third feature from Writer/Director Scott Dunn and Producer Gina Gomez Dunn. They successfully raised funds for the sequel via Kickstarter and managed to complete production only 2 days before all film productions shut down due to the pandemic. Because of the lockdowns, Scott Dunn had to tackle post-production by himself (editing, color correction, effects, and sound) and release the flick in time for the holidays.