DOC’s Cross Country sessions with the NFB’s Distribution, Communications and Marketing teams

February 9, 2022

At DOC’s invitation, the National Film Board met with DOC members across the country in six sessions in February and March 2022, to explain the changes they have made to their Distribution, Marketing and Communications departments. These conversations are in response to questions that DOC members have asked about how this process works, and who to speak to about every aspect of their project’s release.

Each session is hosted by a DOC Chapter, beginning with DOC Manitoba on February 8th 2022 and finalizing in Alberta on March 15th. DOC is tracking your questions and collecting key take-aways that can inform our ongoing advocacy work with the National Film Board.

In addition to hearing from the NFB’s Executives of Distribution (Nathalie Bourdon), Communications (Lily Robert) and Marketing (Anne-Claire Lefaivre), and regional publicists, marketing managers and Studio Producers, also present J’net Ayayqwayaksheelth, the new Director, Indigenous Relations, and Rachel Decoste, the new Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

The sessions break down the A-Z of exactly what happens to your film from the earliest stages of it being greenlit with the NFB. Two of the biggest take-aways were how involved the regional Marketing Manager is in the entire release process, and that they are the filmmaker’s main point of contact as soon as distribution begins.

There is a major focus on community screenings and outreach and a bespoke press strategy per film. Over time, once the film’s main release period is over and distribution / sales begins, their main point of contact will become the distribution team who give regular updates on sales.

For Coproductions, the NFB is open to sharing territories depending on the needs of the film and the expertise of the producer and coproducer – the NFB can negotiate the distribution agreement.

J’netAyayqwayaksheelth announced the creation of a new optional monthly NFB Indigenous Support Circle beginning in April 2022 for Indigenous creators collaborating with the NFB. Indigenous filmmakers who need support during their work with the NFB can reach out to J’net. Rachel Décoste is responsible for implementing the NFB’s goals as laid out in its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan and is also available for any filmmakers who need support during their work with the NFB.