Saturday June 15, 11am-2pm

Halifax Central Library, BMO Community Room (2nd Floor)

About the Distribution Initiative

Workshop hosts will discuss how independent film distributors operate and what they can offer artists. Tips for self-distribution and maximizing your short film’s potential will be discussed along with several case studies of successful films. The workshop is designed for emerging to mid-career filmmakers working in the independent media arts model.

Meetings are free for participating HIFF 2019 filmmakers and passholders, and $10 admission for additional filmmakers/community members. Refreshments are provided.



Distribution: A Working Relationship - Straddling Twin Peaks of Art and Commerce

Sylvia Jonescu Lisitza will share what she's learned from three decades of active distribution that includes working with programmers, buyers and licensors of independent film and video. Topics will include building a constructive relationship with a distributor, preparing your work for smooth delivery of digital assets to maximize the audience experience, calibrating your economic expectations and navigating festivals. She has worked extensively with buyers who build media collections for educational and art institutions, licensors for broadcast, and cultural programmers. She'll also comment on the current landscape of massive digital platforms and their ability (or failure) to serve the needs of libraries dedicated to the study of Media Arts and Cinema. 


Sylvia Jonescu Lisitza is Director of Moving Images Distribution (MID), a not-for-profit distributor reaching national and international audiences. Founded in 1979, its direct distribution model is rooted in dialogue with programmers, buyers and consumers of cinema/media art—a model that augments benefits to artists in the representation of their work. Her diverse experience includes co-founding an artist-run centre (PAVED Arts), curating an exhibition and arts administration, along with 6 years of work in the corporate sector (food industry) where she directed the marketing of small packaged goods. Direct experience with the company’s attempt to shift from niche- to mass-marketing brought valuable lessons she considers transferable to challenges faced by film distribution today. She is a Board member of KDOCS, a Vancouver organization presenting public screenings of impact documentaries with in-depth panel discussions that build audiences and maximize community engagement.




Jacquelyn Hébert will host a workshop for artists and arts organizations interested in learning more about online film and video distribution. During the session, she will explain what VUCAVU is and what it offers artists. This will include an overview of other view on demand (VOD) platforms and a discussion about how digital tools can be used to promote an artists’ practice.

Participants will learn about VUCAVU’s 8 distribution partners and how artists can have their work added to the platform. Finally, Jacquelyn will discuss how VUCAVU can be used as a curatorial, research, educational and programming tool and what changes are on the horizon as they work to further develop the platform and its functionalities. VUCAVU is operated by the non profit Coalition of Canadian Independent Media Art Distributors (CCIMAD). CCIMAD was established in 2013 by a group of independent Canadian film and video distributors to improve international accessibility to their catalogues through a shared digital distribution strategy. To this end, they established VUCAVU, which works with independent film and video distributors from across Canada to improve access to Canadian works and to provide greater national and international awareness of Canadian filmmakers and video artists.


Jacquelyn Hébert — VUCAVU Community and Program Manager

Jacquelyn Hébert has worked in arts administration and arts education since 2005, holding positions with Concordia University, the Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Le Labo, the Manitoba Arts Council and the Winnipeg Film Group to name a few. Jacquelyn is also a visual artist and filmmaker whose work stems from an interest in historical, cultural and imagined narratives. She has presented her work nationally and internationally. She is currently VUCAVU.com’s Community and Programming Manager as well as the Un Canadien Errant research project Website Manager at the University of Toronto.

The HIFF Distribution Initiative is generously supported by the Province of Nova Scotia