Distribution and Markets (EAFM200)

StaffProfessor Will Higbee - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 1: 12 weeks;

Module aims

This module aims to:

  • Guide you in understanding the processes shaping film distribution and exhibition in the international film business.
  • Ask you to think and write critically about how films are prepared for and delivered to audiences in specific historical, cultural, and industrial contexts, drawing on major examples from film cultures across the globe.
  • Encourage you to develop your own advanced insight into the constantly evolving practices of film distribution and exhibition that characterise the global independent film business.
  • Develop an understanding of the emerging field of immersive cinema and practical skills through assessed work relating to film [programming] & curation.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of distribution and exhibition practices in the international film business across a range of historical periods and key markets and territories
  • 2. Through an engagement with academic specialists and industry practitioners, think critically about how films from across the world are prepared for and delivered to audiences in specific historical, cultural and industrial contexts.
  • 3. Prepare a live group curation assignment and develop knowledge of issues relating to film programming and immersive cinema.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Analyse the inter-relation of films to various textual and contextual factors (including the industrial context of distribution and exhibition), in order to conduct research and engage in critical discussion and debate
  • 5. Analyse film history and creative industry studies in a global context

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Through essay-writing, demonstrate advanced research and bibliographic skills, an advanced and intellectually mature capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument and to write clear and correct prose
  • 7. Through research for seminars, essays, and presentations demonstrate an advanced proficiency in information retrieval and analysis
  • 8. Through preparation of the curation assignment and group pitch, work in a group to deliver a shared project to an agreed deadline.

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • PART 1:

An introduction to the historical development of key national cinemas, established territories and emerging film markets across the globe and the current challenges and opportunities facing these markets.

  • PART 2:

A dual focus: 

  1. Coverage of key themes relating distribution, exhibition festivals and markets through delivered by academic specialists in dialogue with guest speakers from the film industry
  2. Immersive cinema, curation and alternative exhibition strategies

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching21Lectures (14 x 1.5 hours)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching12Seminars (6 x 2 hours)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching10Module induction
Scheduled Learning and Teaching12Study days (workshops and panels with industry guests and academic tutors)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 15Teaching, consultation and delivery of curation and immersive cinema assignment
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 8Guest speaker events
Guided Independent Study30Independent/group viewing of selected screenings (primary film texts) for lectures, seminars and workshops, as directed by tutors
Guided Independent Study192Reading and preparation for lectures, seminars, workshops, presentations, cinema assignment and assessed coursework

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written response paper300 words2, 4-6Written feedback from tutor(s)

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group presentation 20Group pitch (4 minutes per student) supported by pitch-deck slides.2- 4, 8Oral feedback in class, written feedback from tutor(s)
Research Report201500 words1-2, 4-7Written feedback from tutor(s)
Group curation exercise4060 minute programme of short films 2-3, 8Written feedback from tutor(s)
Event Report (group submission for curation exercise)201500 words 1-2, 4-7Oral and written feedback from tutor(s)

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group presentationPitch deck slides and written summary of group pitch (1500 words)2-4, 8Referral/deferral period
Research reportResearch report (1500 words)1-2, 4-7Referral/deferral period
Group curation exerciseWritten summary of the process (2500 words)2-3, 8Referral/deferral period
Event Report (group submission for curation exercise)1500 words 1-2, 4-7Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Reassessment exercises will carry the same weightings as the original assessments.

The group pitch cannot be re-assessed – instead you will submit a written summary of your individual contribution to the original group pitch.

The group curation exercise cannot be re-assessed – instead you will submit a written summary of your individual contribution and the process of the original exercise.

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Bespoke package of articles, cases and other readings prepared in the form of a digital module reader and accessed via ELE.

Additional Recommended reading:

  • Dale, Martin, The Movie Game: the film business in Britain, Europe and America , Cassel, 1997.
  • De Valck, Marijke, Film Festivals: from European Geopolitics to Global Cinephilia, Amsterdam University Press: Amsterdam, 2007.King, Geoff et al, American Independent Cinema: indie, indiewood, and beyond, London: Routledge, 2013.
  • Finney, A. (2014) The International Film Business: A market Guide beyond Hollywood, 2nd edition, Routledge, London
  • MacDonald, Paul and Wasko, Janet (eds.) The Contemporary Hollywood Film Industry, London: Blackwell, 2008Wong, Cindy H., Film Festivals: culture, people and power on the global screen, New Brunswick (NJ) / London: Rutgers University Press, 2011.
  • Spicer, Andrew et alBeyond the Bottom Line: The Producer in Film and Television Studies, London: Bloomsbury, 2014

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Key words search

Film business, distribution, exhibition