Festival de Cine Global Dominicano
A signed contract is the key to getting distributors

“We all want to earned money but without distribution we aren’t going to make anything. So, we have to deal with the film industry like a business,” said Mr. Crowell at the workshop in which he was sharing his industry experience and knowledge with Dominican filmmakers who want to distribute their films outside the country.

A signed contract is the key to getting distributors

Santo Domingo, November 18, 2013- Attorney, professor and former film director, Thomas A. Crowell, gave a 2-day workshop starting Monday on the US Film Law in which he stressed the relevance of having a signed contract before beginning the filming of any film. Mr. Crowell is the director of the Indie Film Clinic, part of New York-based Cardozo School of Law.

“We all want to earned money but without distribution we aren’t going to make anything. So, we have to deal with the film industry like a business,” said Mr. Crowell at the workshop in which he was sharing his industry experience and knowledge with Dominican filmmakers who want to distribute their films outside the country.

“To get distributors, you need to have contracts, agreements, licenses including for music and images…all those things have to be figured out,” said Crowell, adding that all this is key to securing future investors.

Crowell explained that once you have all your documents registered and some possible distributors lined up, you have to present the genre (the type of film that is going to sell), all the elements of the movie including the actors who are preferably well-known internationally.  This will help investors know that type of material and project that is being undertaken. 
At the very beginning of a new production, one should have the script and author’s right protected right away so as to avoid anyone stealing the copyrights. Once this is taken care of, one can do any type of business related to the film whether that involves a if it is a film  whether it making a DVD, comics, a TV program or an action figure or toy.

“Many filmmakers think that ideas are legally protected but that is not the case,” explained Crowell, but ideas can only be protected by the person with the idea creates a legal agreement with the person with whom they intend to share the idea. This agreement obliges both parties to comply with the established clauses and help to avoid any possible theft.

Those present at the interesting workshop included former Dominican president and current president of the Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE), Dr. Leonel Fernández, who was accompanied by the Director of the Dominican Global Film Festival, Omar de la Cruz, as well as lawyers, producers and film directors.  

Participants had the opportunity to air their ideas, questions and concerns on the topic during the question and answer period with Crowell, who responded with great precision and examples that helped clear up many doubts that people had on the topic.

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Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo

Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo - FUNGLODE

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Santo Domingo, República Dominicana

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