Gaumont-British Films is open to submissions for our distribution service.


Gaumont-British aims

Our aim, unique among distributors, is to create a circuit of small independent cinemas to participate in distribution of low budget independent films.

We will present your films to cinemas in the best possible light to interest them in screening them. We will try to generate interest in you and your film, through interviews and articles which we will publish on our website.

We will also stream your film on our website if you opt for that.

What we don't do;

We don't try to find you internet distribution through Netflix, Amazon, Hulu or any similar outlets. We don't try to find you broadcasting deals. We are cinema based, and we also operate or own virtual cinema where your film can be streamed.

It will be up to you to publicise your film, and to advertise it, as we have no budget or funds for that. Big distributors will do some of that sort of thing for you and then charge you for it, which is why film-makers often don't see much of the profits from any deals made.


Addressing the absence of a real audience for new unknown films

Our aim is to generate genuine audiences for small films without star actors. This is a fairly difficult task as that audience does not already exist. Festivals used to be to some extent a genuine alternative to real cinemas, but the notion of festival audiences is largely chimerical. They are largely made up of film-makers and their friends, and usually only have attention for their own films, and watch other films inattentively at best.

The whole system of prizes is another misleading aspect. These days every film has a garland of prizes and laurels to stick on their posters, and they are largely meaningless being given merely to attract submissions (which are the real source of income for festivals) and because film-makers expect them and seek them in the belief that they will lead to some further success along the road. But quite what that success is to be when there is no real audience is a question no-one is addressing.

The limitations of VOD

One outlet film-makers hope for is VOD (view on demand). In reality this is of limited use to serious film-makers, and is only really useful as part of any attempt to find an audience for a particular film.

There are three kinds of VOD.

  • SVOD: Subscription Video on Demand, such as Netflix, Amazon etc, where the customer has a subsciption in exchange for access to a large number of films from which he can chose
  • TVOD: Transactional Video on Demand. This is where your film is available on a platform such as Vimeo and a viewer pays to watch your film specifically
  • AVOD: Ad-based Video-on-demand, platforms where the films are free, but interrupted by ads.


The various forms of VOD are really a thing of the past in terms of money making for good film makers. There are 200 streaming platforms, and reports give the impression of a a hugely burgeoning industry, but the proliferation of them, as with festivals, tells you that, yes there is big money to be made, but not usually by film-makers. In the past you might expect to make $2.99 when someone paid to watch your film on a VOD platform such as Amazon, but now a film maker will be typically on a lousy 12cents per hour watched. The money being made is by the platform owners, who are making money from 100 films, not the film maker who has only a handful of films at most. 12 cents per hour watched isn't making them much money.

The influence of VOD over film-makers

The other effect of  VOD formats, at least the ad supported and subscription based ones, is their influence over content. When a potential viewer is sitting with his finger on a button, the pressure is to grab his flimsy attention every 10 seconds or so, or risk loosing him. This gives us...a certain kind of film structure, lets say. The advertisers have their familiar and predictable influence over content to suit its presentation alongside their product and its reputation. VOD is anything but favourable to the form of film-making, and while it can provide a trickle to anyone willing to make films to fit the demands of this sort of outlet, and indeed there are any number of films being made with this sort of audience and outlet in mind. But any film-makers with any other sort of intentions are going to find their artistic options narrowing in exchange for very little money.

The subscription platforms work by having a large volume of films, essentially it means the film-makers are working as wage slaves for these corporations, and not even covering their costs, and not finding audiences either. Netflix don't even give information on how many people are watching your film. You are basically working for nothing, while providing films for a context that spells the death of the form itself.


The vital link of  film-cinema-audience.

The art of film-making depends on having a proper audience, willing and able to commit to watching a film for 80 minutes or more.  you are encouraged to think of the strictures of VOD  as some kind of virtuous discpline, engendering brevity and conciseness in script and editing, as if making films for inattentive and impatient audiences is a way to make good films.  Meanwhile Hollywood itself ensures that its films are presented in contexts that specifically condusive to all the aspects of the art form, and  is still largely wedded to cinema release and in all instances benefits from the degree of commitment generated by the hype and interest they work hard to surround their films with- to create an expectation in the audience that will help them to commit to a longer look, to give the film more of a chance. When your budget is in the hundreds of millions you don't see any vitrue in subjecting your film unprotected, to the mercies of attention defecit.

There is no escaping the need for the necessary contract between the viewer and the film, and therefore the link between film-cinema-audience. For small films this means going back to the basics of film's relationship to the audience, creating an audience and creating the habit and curiosity in an audience of seeing new films, in cinemas. Commercial films use the other outlets too, of course, as part of the means of generating interest, and so do we, which is why we have an online streaming option for showing your film.


What is our arrangement with cinemas?

Twisting the arms of independent cinemas around the country to take a handful of small independent films throughout the year, will not generate much money, and it would not be wise at this stage to take it from the cinemas. It is better strategy to let them benefit from, and learn to recognise, the advantages of having a regular stream of new films in their cinemas, films that no-one else is bringing to them, films that audiences can't see anywhere else. We will let the cinemas have the films for virtually nothing. It has to be like that at the start. They will only pay for them when they know they can make money out of showing them. If 15 people come to see the film, they will just about pay for the video projectionist. At first they wont pay us for the film or give us any box office.


How does Gaumont-British make any money?

Well, the short answer is we don't. The only way to function at all as an operation is simply that we have to take a small fee from film-makers. While our long term survival will be helped by reserving for ourselves a small percentage of any eventual profits of your film. The fee is set as low as possible, more or less nominal, and is £150 per year, (equivalent to you submitting your film to 3 or 4 festivals). The percentage we ask is only 2%, - most distributors take between 10 and 50%


What do you get for the £150 ?

We will do or best to actually distribute your film to participating cinemas (however many or few that is, and that can fluctuate dramatically and is outside of our control).

We will stream your film on our website, in whatever way you decide. It can be as pay per view (you will get 50% of the price) or it can be made available for free to people you want to show it to. It will anyway be on our website as a film distributed by Gaumont-British, along with the other films we have chosen, where it will benefit from the intelligent and constructive critical environment we create.

We will write about your film and to publicise it on our website. We will interview you by video and/or in print, and put that on or website, and we will write an intelligent and positive description of the film, in some depth which will be useful to you as publicity for you to use yourself in whatever outlets you have access to.

We will try to foster a small community of serious small film-makers. We will also contact any relevant reviewers of magazines or websites, but we don't have resources to run anything like a comprehensive or wide ranging publicity operation, and it will still be up to you to promote and publicise your film, and anything we do will have to be enhanced by your efforts as well. But we will take whatever opportunities that present themselves to us. We will advocate your film. We will only accept films that we like well enough to do this for. We will not accept films we don't genuinely appreciate.


Film-makers will need to supply us with a link to their film on vimeo or a similar platform. we will put that link on our website where participating cinemas will be able to get access to it, and select if for screening. You will be alble to see from the stats on your platform(such as Vimeo) how often and where your film is being screened.(We will have our own records and will keep you informed) We will share the income from screenings, such as it is, at 50/50, for each time your film is screened. You will be able to focus your online or other advertising and publicity at towns where there is a participating cinema (we will give you a list). We aim ot have roughly enough films to feed the cinemas at a rate of one new film per week, so thats about 50 films. Your film won't drown in an overabundance of other films. of course a cinema can chose to screen the same film many times if it goes well.


The whole point of this is to put film-makers back in contact with real life audiences.


We charge only £20 for you to submit your film to us, this is to enable us to devote the time to watching the quantity of films submitted to us. If your film is accepted the £20 will be refunded.

We are only looking for full length feature films at the moment.

We can't offer any comments or advice or other responses to films sent to us. A rejection from us is not reflection on your film it just means we haven't chosen to distribute it. We only have the time and resources to handle a very few films. We will add as many films to our list as we can, as things develop.





For cinemas


Make your cinema a known regular outlet of small independent films, for only £500 per year!


For £500 per year, cinemas can have 50 screenings of new independent films.

We give you access to the best of British and foreign independent films. Gaumont-British formerly one of the largest distributors is now starting again as one of the smallest, and aims to rebuild the audience for new films, from the ground-up.


Cinemas want to support small new films, and to build up new audiences, but it takes time and it's costly and margins are so small. Gaumont-British want to help cinemas by making the best of independent film-making available to participating cinemas for next to nothing!

Independent cinemas are at the forefront of the domestic film industry, typically screening the major British new releases. Sometimes they even manage to also screen a number of smaller budget, lesser known independent films. Their ability and willingness to do this is vital to the future of the film industry outside of Hollywood, but we understand it isnt easy for them.

Small budget films, by unknown directors with unknown actors are the hardest to find audiences for, and yet it is an untapped resource. It isnt easy to programme, and find audiences for, films not supported by the huge advertising budgets of the major studios. Conversely its impoosible and futile to publicise small films when there is no cinema outlet. Audiences are accustomed to gigantic amounts of hype, they arent used to turning out to see films they have never heard of. Its hard for cinemas to help audiences gain the habit, when costs of rent, rates, heating and staff are so high, and ticket prices are low.

That is why we are making our films available for next to nothing- only £10 per screening, to make it possible for cinemas to be as adventurous as they would like to be, and to be able to build up audiences, slowly, with our cooperation.


How does it work?

We provide a pool of films for cinemas to chose from. It couldnt be easier. Cinemas simply pay a yearly subscription of £500 and get a password. and are then able to go to our website and chose from our available films, as and when they want, for 50 performances. It could be 50 new films(if we have 50 currently on our list, we are just building up at present) or you might prefer a handful or films with a few performances each, or the same film 50 times, you chose, on the day, adjusting your programming policy to respond to audience development. That way you can try out films, and repeat the ones that find audiences, and its so cheap that you can take your time to cultivate what is essentially a new audience.


If your cinema has either a screen or a days or days of the week, that you are not using,(probably because it doesnt pay to do so) then this scheme could enable you to invest that un-used capacity. Our scheme can help you to experiement in ways to find new audiences. We know you have to pay the projectionist and house staff. At least this way the film rental itself is only a nominal £10.


Generating new audiences for interesting new unknown films, has to be a partnership between distributors and cinemas and film-makers. By making the product this cheaply available to cinemas we hope we are doing our bit.


Film-makers are making their films available cheaply because they know that the vital link between film-makers-cinemas-audiences, is what is needed. The craft of film-making cannot thrive with internet streaming as its main outlet. As the major studios are well aware. The future of film-making is in cinemas- their fates are intertwined.

Advertising and publicity for small films is largely left to the producers themselves, and is at grassroots level, using social media and so on. Our system wil allow for these limited resources to be targeted at the towns where participating cinemas are located. That way the cinemas programming the films will benefit from the publicity efforts of the producers of the films.

If we as distributors want to revolutionise the landscape for small film-makers, it has to be in a partnership with independent cinemas. It has to start small, and it has to start cheap, very cheap.

If we want to recreate the hey-day of cinema-going when audiences would turn out to see films that were not necessarily hyped to the maximum, then we have to give cinemas the chance to cultivate that sort of audience.


Our £500 yearly subscription could be the best £500 your cinema has spent.


What kind of films do we have?

The future of any form of entertainment always replies on a combination of using what is obviously successful and what is new and untried. At the small end of any art-form there is usually a flood of imitation of what is at the top, and in film there certainly is, you can see the styles and gimmicks and tricks of the major studios being run through and used ad nausiam.

There are also film-makers who don't just copy, and who persue the means, old and new to make their films as effective as possible whilst not seeking innovation for the sake of it. We are always looking for directors whose work is of the first quality rather than any particular style or genre. We have films in all genres, any film we have we have chose because it is a good film. We have no partcular axe to grind except the art of film-making, and that can only thrive with proper audiences.



Watch Dracula by Gregory Motton