Toronto-based non-fiction prodco Fathom Film Group has opened a distribution arm to shop its own projects internationally as well as those of other independent producers.
According to Fathom’s executive producer Ann Shin (pictured, left, with head of production for Fathom Hannah Donegan, right), the decision to set up a distribution division stemmed from the new realities of the screen content production industry, in which prodcos are increasingly establishing direct relationships with new buyers in the OTT space while navigating the challenges brought on by smaller broadcast licences.
“We all know OTT platforms have been changing the game for broadcasters,” said Shin in a statement. “Ad revenues are down for broadcasters and that means smaller broadcast licenses.
“Independent producers like us have to find alternate ways of financing their projects, including co-productions and dealing directly with broadcasters and OTT service providers in other territories. It made eminent sense for Fathom to open up a distribution arm as we were travelling to different jurisdictions to broker deals anyway.”
Fathom Distribution will work to help secure licenses and pre-sales for projects, while also marketing projects that are completed outside of Canada.
Most recently, Fathom Distribution closed pre-sale deals for its documentary project The New Black Gold, in development with CBC’s documentary Channel and with orders from ARTE/ZDF in Germany, NRK in Norway, and Canal D in Canada.
The nascent distribution arm is active in such territories as the UK, United States, Europe, Eastern Europe, Israel and the Middle East, Korea and China.
“We still work with other sales agents and distributors, but more and more independent producers are having to take the helm from development to production to marketing and distribution,” said Shin. “It’s the way the industry has been moving.”