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Media Centre

08 12 2011 - Media release

FanDependent to receive support for Innovative Distribution program

Screen Australia today announced the recipient of the latest round of its Innovative Distribution program. The successful company is Thomas Mai and Josh Pomeranz’s FanDependent.

Screen Australia’s Innovative Distribution program recognises that new models are allowing access to expanding markets and there is a need to support a variety of low-budget screen content that does not fit into a traditional distribution and exhibition paradigm. Josh Pomeranz and Thomas Mai’s FanDependent will partner with 10 filmmaker teams over two years – helping producers build an initial audience and raise finance through crowd funding. Selected teams will then be supported to market, sell and release their low-budget feature, maximising its commercial potential and audience. Workshops and video blogs for the wider industry will also be provided.

“A true hybrid incorporating marketing, development and production, the FanDependent Entertainment model promises real outcomes for filmmakers including visibility of films, support for low-budget content, revenue, a greater understanding of audience, tailored marketing support and the deployment of innovative release strategies,” said Kathleen Drumm, Screen Australia’s Head of Marketing.

“Digital convergence and social media have removed the gap between filmmakers and their audience,” said Thomas Mai. “Now, independent filmmakers can build and commercialise their own IP and audience. FanDependent will be looking for audience-focused filmmaker teams with strong projects, ideally with an existing or growing fan base. We will then assist producers to finance, complete and commercialise their projects, without them having to give away any of their rights.”

Thomas Mai is a former sales agent and online media expert who is a regular speaker on the international circuit. He consulted on the crowd funding campaigns for Australian features The Tunnel and Iron Sky. Josh Pomeranz is the MD of Spectrum Films, a state-of-the-art post facility for features, TV productions, documentaries and commercials. Spectrum Films has sponsored Thomas Mai to live in Australia and together are developing FanDependent, which will also eventually be a vehicle for investment in low-budget Australian screen production.

“We are thrilled to invest alongside Screen Australia to provide opportunities for talented market-conscious filmmakers,” said Josh Pomeranz. “We believe the added experience and intelligence Thomas brings to Australia is inspirational. He’s a unique voice and very well respected in the international filmmaking community. We are thrilled to have him with us and to launch FanDependent in 2012.”

Funding for the successful Innovative Distribution recipient will span two years, covering 2012 and 2013. Thereafter it is expected that FanDependent’s activities will continue without further Screen Australia assistance, as part of the federal agency’s remit for building sustainable businesses.

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