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Terms of a Distribution Contract

Hello! Once again, I'm here to ask the help of the SP community.

In the last three years I embarked in a journey that led me to produce and co-direct a mid-length documentary, which is now on its festival run. It did considerably well so far, and yet, as you may know, it is difficult to distribute a mid-length film (44 minutes).

We are now in touch with a start-up that built its own distribution platform. Their concept is based on community screenings. They built a Netflix-like catalogue where community hubs can search for films, but they also target communities individually, trying to sell them the film. Once they made a sale, the community centre/hub pays a reasonable flat fee, and they can download a file that is easy to play and yet protects us from piracy (I won't go into details as it's a bit complicated!). They're very new, but they spotted our film at an international festival and they're interested in working with us - and we're thinking about it, as our film has quite a strong community appeal.

Since they have not launched the platform quite yet, they offer what I think are reasonable contractual terms: non-exclusive distribution, flexibility with territories (ideally worldwide, but we can exclude territories and even withdraw some at a later stage). What I am not entirely sure about is the percentage they take, which is 50-50. As far as I know, sales agents usually have a fee of 20-30%, surely not more than 35%. I have no experience so far with streaming platform, but they seem to be at the other end of the spectrum (ie the filmmaker makes less and less money).

What do you think a reasonable split would be? Do you have any comparable experience? We are keen for people to see the film. Still, we have invested quite a lot of our own money in this film, so it would be good to have a fair deal.

Thank you for your help!

9 months ago