Just because a documentary doesn’t get a theatrical distribution deal doesn’t mean it can’t be considered for an Academy Award. Since many great docs don’t get distributed theatrically, many filmmakers choose to qualify the film themselves. But it’s not cheap. The least expensive option is the IDA’s DOCUWEEKS program (www.documentary.org), or you can four-wall the film yourself. It needs to run at least two times a day, for a week in New York City AND Los Angeles. Theaters that regularly cater to this kind of Academy-qualifying runs include the Laemmle’s in LA, and the IFC Center in NYC. Know in advance that you should expect to pay at least $30,000 to qualify this way. If you are considering this kind of run….TFC can help.

Are you a documentary filmmaker who has worked with a distributor for theatrical exhibition? Tell us about it on our Distributor Report Card.

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