This is partially cross-posted from a post I did for Filmmaker Magazine. I had a chance to interview Efe Cakerel, founder of MUBI recently. Formerly known as The Auteurs, MUBI is a VOD portal/social network for cinephiles. It’s well known for its international library. What’s really interesting to me about MUBI is their strategy for film distribution, targeting not just PCs but game consoles as well. Their game console bet has paid off as you’ll see below. What you’ll find interesting is how to get your film in front of MUBI’s international viewers.
BTBO: How do you select the films that are added to MUBI’s library? Do you work with filmmakers directly or through a distributor? Are you aggregator only? If aggregator only, are there any plans to work with filmmakers directly at any point?
We do all that we can to select films to show on MUBI, be it acquire new film festival releases, select choice titles from back catalogs, work with distributors on their current titles, and more. Similarly, we work with a wide range of rights holders, from international sales agents all the way down to individual filmmakers and producers.
BTBO: Are there certain criteria a film needs to meet before being added?
If by “added” you mean acquired for our VOD platform, our criteria is simple: we want great films our audiences will be interested in.
BTBO: What is MUBI’s business model? Advertising/sponsorship or strictly from movie rentals?
The VOD platform has pay-per-view and subscription model options for renting films.
BTBO: How do filmmakers on MUBI make money?
MUBI splits revenue 50/50 with rightsholders.
BTBO: From where do your visitors buy mostly? Game console? The web? Other?
BTBO: Do you notice a particular genre does better on your site than other? What kind of movies do best?
Because MUBI is uniquely a global platform, and our library offerings different from country to country (we have a different library in every country in the world), it is impossible to say which film or genre does better than others, as they are so dependent both on local audiences and on local offerings.
BTBO: What advice would you give to filmmakers to help their films stand out on a video sharing site?
Choose your platform wisely, as films can get lost in the shuffle, and bring to the table your own ideas on how to get your films seen. The trend in media consumption is getting more and more about “all access, all the time,” and work needs to be done to get the word out on smaller, lesser known titles.
BTBO: Do you do any active outreach, audience building for the site?
Read his response and a lot more at Filmmaker Magazine’s blog.