HIFF is proud to have offered The Distribution Initiative to five short filmmakers in 2017. The filmmakers, who were also selected to play at this year's festival, received training, mentorship, and a small fund to put towards marketing and festival submission fees.

The Distribution Initiative is a unique opportunity held in partnership with La Distributrice. Based in Montréal, La Distributrice was founded in 2012 with the goal of assisting and promoting short and feature length films. An experienced team led by Serge Abiaad helps filmmakers develop a realistic and feasible festival release plan and marketing materials necessary to promote their work.


La Distributrice de Films is an independent distributor and sales representative of auteur short and feature films, based in Montreal, Canada. La Distributrice’s films have been selected to more than 400 festivals from Cannes to Sao Paolo, Berlin to Melbourne. La Distributrice’s main focus is strategic festival submissions of independent and exploratory films, International sales representation and distribution consultation. Its catalog of films has progressed from 5 short films in 2013 to more than 20 films in 2017, including feature films. Some filmmakers La Distributrice has been working with are Denis Côté, Jennifer Reeder, Ashley McKenzie, Sophie Goyette, Olivier Godin, Fyzal Boulifa, Matthew Rankin, Ryan McKenna, Felix Dufour-Laperrière, Maxime Giroux, Monia Chokri.



Serge is the general director of La Distributrice de Films and a college level film professor. He has a masters degree in film studies and has published his master’s thesis entitled: The Poetic of the Off-Screen in Tarkovsky’s The Mirror

He has been working as consultant to filmmakers and producers in terms of strategical festival submissions and sales representation. He has participated in many festival markets like TIFF, Cannes, Berlinale, Rotterdam, Trouville, Clermont-Ferrand or Locarno. He lives and works in Montreal, Canada.