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Indie Docs Were Once Hot Properties, but This Year, Filmmakers Are Struggling to Sell

Indie Docs Were Once Hot Properties, but This Year, Filmmakers Are Struggling to Sell

It’s been a good year for several documentary filmmakers who sought and found distribution for independently made projects at major festivals. But for many nonfiction helmers, this year’s festival circuit hasn’t proven to be as fruitful as it once was.

Pre-pandemic, streaming services went to film fests to fill their slates, but now with media conglomerates consolidating, brands merging, and Netflix tightening its wallet, film fest documentary shopping sprees have slowed down. On top of mergers and economic unease, there’s been an increase in streamers like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, Apple, and Disney either pre-buying docus or commissioning their own nonfiction projects.

Some of this year’s fest favorites were commissioned docus, including Tia Lessin and Emma Pildes’ ‘The Janes” (HBO), W. Kamau Bell’s “We Need to Talk About Cosby” (Showtime), Rory Kennedy’s “Downfall: The Case Against Boeing” (Netflix), and Ron Howard’s “We Feed People

See full article on Variety