Film Courage: Without naming names, can you give us some of the distribution offers you’ve had for Lola?
Antoine Allen, Filmmaker: Lola one the process was when I did a premiere before Covid happened (the day of Covid) I had a whole plan. I was going to put it in AMC, do movie theaters (all that), it didn’t work out. So I was like my whole marketing strategy with my last movie was movie theaters that had collapsed. I did his big festival called American Black Film Festival, one of the biggest festivals out there. I premiered it online because Covid happened and I got a lot of distribution companies contacting me. The one that contacted me was called Homestead Entertainment and they kept telling me Antoine, the Netflix’s and the BET’s are going to say no. They were right because I didn’t have big names but they said go to Tubi TV. I was like What’s Tubi TV? We’re so programmed that if it’s not a Netflix or Hulu or BET we’re not looking into that. I gave in, I did a deal with Homestead. At first I was kicking and screaming but the CEO Rob Johnson said Antoine, trust me, you want to make something with Tubi TV. I said Whatever. My first check was nice. Tubi TV is an amazing platform for independent filmmakers when the big networks say no. It’s a great split. They give you 50 percent of the ad revenue and as long as you promote and are really out there, getting all your friends and family, it’s free too. You don’t have to pay for nothing because the reality is the film business is now the music business, no one pays for music anymore, they stream everything. It’s the same in the film business, people are not trying to pay for your films unless it’s a big film, so you want to stream it for free. Tubi is a great platform when you can’t get to the big networks.
Film Courage: No subscription model for Tubi?
Antoine: Nope, [none] at all and it’s great. You set the app on your phone and I didn’t even know this, a lot of people got Tubi. That’s another thing, I wasn’t educated, I thought Tubi, whatever? But Tubi has a big market. It’s a great platform.
Film Courage: Are you able to get age demographics and where people live?…(Watch the video interview on Youtube here).
Award-winning filmmaker Antoine Allen had dreams like any other kid growing up, and it was those same dreams that allowed him to break through every obstacle in his path. Despite growing up poor in Jamaica, Queens, Allen was already rich with potential. Refusing to let this define his future, he moved forward with a passion, drive, and tireless dedication that has now become synonymous with the Antoine Allen brand.
Allen began his career in the music industry, successfully managing hip-hop artists for many years. During that time, he had several experiences that opened his eyes to the fact that he had more to offer. It was at this time that the phrase “dream big or don’t dream at all” really hit hard.
Forgoing the traditional film school route, he began educating himself on all creative, technical, and business aspects of the process and never looked back. Allen transformed himself into a successful writer, director, filmmaker and producer. He sold his first screenplay,
No Where Land an animated feature film in 2008. As an award-winning director, Allen has gone on to be involved in a variety of film and music video projects.
In the summer of 2010, Allen made his directorial debut with Split Decision a narrative short film exploring love, rejection and motivation, which he also wrote and produced. He took promotions into his own hands, launching a highly successful social media campaign. The trailer alone received over twenty-one thousand views on YouTube and countless ‘Likes’ on Facebook, all culminating in the Split Decision world premiere. The opening screening in New York City sold out. This should have come as no surprise since Allen sold out a premiere to a 3-minute music video that he had previously directed. On a personal level, the film allowed him to draw from his own experiences of beating the odds when life got tough, and was an experience that brought Allen full circle.
His most recent project, a full-length feature film Life Is Too Short (2015) premiered to another crop of sold out audiences and has been honored with multiple awards and film festivals selections.
Aside from pursuing his creative projects, Allen has devoted a great deal of his time inspiring, mentoring and giving back to his community by helping young entrepreneurs and artists achieve the bigger dreams that they have for themselves. This is a reflection of the extent and impact that one person can have within their surroundings.
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