We’re entering a brave new world for independent filmmakers. The old gatekeepers, institutions, and ideas are breaking down. But if you can build an audience and take control of your film’s distribution, there’s more opportunity than ever.
Filmmaker.MBA is a self-paced, self-directed course teaching the fundamentals of direct distribution. Through video lessons, case studies, action plans, and interactive webinars, we’ll teach you how to navigate the independent film world and walk you through the distribution process from start to finish. By the end of the course, you’ll have a customized distribution plan for your film—just what you need to move your project into action.
Watch in-depth video lessons covering every step of the distribution process.
Build a customized distribution plan for your film using our templates and checklists.
Launch your film and make an impact on the world.
Learn how to identify your niche, build your network, and create a passionate fanbase.
Learn how to set up your distribution platform and sell directly to your audience.
Learn how to launch successful digital, social, and community screening campaigns.
Learn how to create valuable products and generate regular income with your film.
Learn how to raise money for production, distribution, and outreach campaigns.
Learn how to pitch your project to funders, distributors, and institutional partners.
Learn how to think like a startup and build a profitable business around your work.
Learn how to design a social impact campaign and make your mark in the world.
You’ll start by watching 15 short video tutorials covering the entire distribution process. Each lesson introduces the main concept, guides you through a real-world example, and explains how to apply the ideas to your film. The lessons are self-paced, so you can skip directly to the topics that interest you most and refer back when you need it.
After watching the video tutorials, you’ll find 15+ detailed case studies illustrating the concepts in action. We’ll walk you through the direct distribution campaigns for successful films including Food Matters, Helvetica, and Indie Game: The Movie. The case studies will give you nuts-and-bolts advice and move you towards action.
At the end of each lesson, you’ll find a step-by-step action plan including templates, timelines, and checklists. The action plans are in Word format, so you can easily customize them for your project. By the end of the course, you’ll have a complete distribution roadmap to guide you through every step of your film’s release.
I’m Christopher Rufo. I’ve developed Filmmaker.MBA from ten years of in-the-trenches experience as independent filmmakers. I’ve produced three documentaries for PBS, pioneered new strategies in direct distribution, and made filmmaking into a sustainable full-time career—including salary, benefits, and retirement.
With my last film, Age of Champions, we grossed more than $1.5 million through direct distribution, corporate partnerships, and digital sales. In addition, we spearheaded more than 3,000 community screenings, reached more than 3 million viewers on PBS and Netflix, and appeared on NPR, ABC, CBS, HLN, CNN, and FOX.
I’ve built Filmmaker.MBA to share what I’ve learned and help filmmakers through the distribution minefield. I know how hard it is to juggle creative projects and the demands of daily life, so I’ve created something that will help save you time, money, and frustration as you launch your film.
For Filmmaker.MBA, I’ve partnered with Robert A. Compton, an experienced venture capital investor, filmmaker, and executive producer on 10 documentaries, including The Hunting Ground, Sundance award-winner Rich Hill, and Academy Award® nominee Cartel Land.
The #FilmmakerMBA is a godsend. I was making my film because I care about the subject. Now I see my film may actually make an impact.
— Derek McNeill (@363Derek) April 29, 2016
#FilmmakerMBA has helped me sort through the distribution maze and come up with some unique ideas that other consultants never pointed out.
— Brenda Rusnak (@brendarusnak) May 5, 2016
— Lara Stolman (@LaraStolman) April 29, 2016
#FilmmakerMBA has helped me launch my career as a full-time filmmaker. It’s been a great resource as I navigate the distribution landscape.
— reubeness (@reubeness) May 3, 2016
Love the #FilmmakerMBA webinars. I’m always writing furiously! They do a superb job sharing real world examples that guide me.
— Shanna Paige Belott (@shannabelott) May 2, 2016
I took a realistic view of the state of film distro & knew I needed help. #FilmmakerMBA offered invaluable distribution advice for my film!
— Lives Well Lived (@liveswelllived) May 10, 2016
Join 1,700 filmmakers learning the business of direct distribution