SAE Oxford was very pleased to welcome Philippine Mignot this week to give a guest talk on alternative film distribution methods in the UK.
Having studied entertainment law in France before pursuing a career in the film industry, Philippine is passionate about democratising film distribution and has worked as a Campaign and Operations Manager at Ourscreen since its inception around 3 and a half years ago.
The concept behind Ourscreen is people-powered cinema. In essence, their online platform allows film fans to control their local cinema by organising screenings (as they are partnered with 110 cinemas across the UK). Using Ourscreen you can choose the film, where it will be shown and when, and if enough people book tickets then the screening takes place.
Increasing the diversity of films shown in cinemas is something very important to Philippine: "All films that are made should be shown on the big screen", she tells us. “Filmmakers should know that they have the opportunity to have their film screened.”
In her insightful talk to our film students, Philippine provided her tips on how to successfully organise a screening/event for a film. One key piece of advice was to “be brave and never give up.” From her personal experience, she has seen that filmmakers are becoming very desperate as not only is it very difficult to get their films screened, but to also make money. However, she conveys the importance of perseverance - “it’s definitely possible to get your film shown in cinemas”, she tells us, and she showed the students how.
In her workshop with the students, she showed them how to create a campaign on Ourscreen’s online platform - a useful tool should they wish to distribute their films in the near future.
So what’s next for film distribution?
Philippine predicts a future of lower budget films and cinema being more of an event than just a simple film screening. "I don’t think we should be scared of Netflix, but as going to the cinema is more expensive it needs to be an experience… every screening should be special. Make it an event, and more than just a film."