Frequently Asked Questions

What is an independent film?
Not a Hollywood studio film. The majors, the household names of the movie business for decades, normally produce movies within their own corporate divisions and distribute them through their subsidiaries all round the world. A film is described as independent when its financing, production or distribution occurs in whole or in part outside this vertically integrated structure. When it is distributed independently, a film sales company appoints local distributors in each international territory to release the movie.

What are film sales companies?
Few independent feature films can be financed without a forecast of their value in world markets or a plan to reach those audiences. Our members are the companies undertaking this key role. Some are also closely connected to production companies or domestic distributors in the UK and many are proactive as executive producers, connecting filmmakers with finance and co-production partners. The specialist activities of an international sales company include:-
- Developing, financing and executive producing independent films for export into worldwide markets.
- Selling the distribution rights in independent films to domestic distributors in territories throughout the world.
- Creating the marketing materials which will be used to promote independent films to audiences throughout the world.
- Formulating marketing strategies for the worldwide release of  independent film based around the major international film festivals.
- Offering technical services to producers ensuring that their films can be exploited effectively in the ever changing digital world.


Why are they important?
Sales companies provide access, knowledge and experience in what is a highly specialised field. They are a bridge between the creative and commercial sides of the film industry operating in an ever changing marketplace. Sales companies are often the first to detect shifts in taste, trends or fashions in cinema and are therefore well positioned to work alongside creative filmmakers in developing a robust and sustainable independent film business in the UK which produces films with significant commercial potential for worldwide release.

Sales companies make an invaluable contribution to the British economy generating millions of dollars annually from distribution agreements which flow into UK. In equal measure, they also facilitate the export of British culture abroad


Can you help me find a sales company to handle my movie?
The Our Members page links to individual member pages are a valuable research tool to study the tastes and activities of our members. However, the association cannot recommend one member over another. You should contact the companies directly. They are always looking out for good films.

Can you help me find a job?
We are hoping to develop training schemes for new entrants to our sector but we do not offer a service to forward CVs to our membership.  Keep an eye on our Training pages for news of our schemes.

Is Film Export UK funded by the taxpayer?
No. We receive no government grants to fund our overheads. The association is funded by subscription fees from the members, although sometimes we supply services to government agencies in return for fees.

Do you have to be a UK company to apply to be a Full Member?
No. Your company simply needs to maintain a staffed film sales office in the UK (ie. not a brass plate) actively selling feature films internationally.

























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