Getting your film on Netflix can be a challenging task, but there are a few ways to increase the chances of it being accepted on the streaming platform. It is important to keep in mind that the acceptance process is highly competitive and dependent on many factors.
Here are three possible ways you can get your film on the streaming giant.
- Submitting your film to film festivals and getting picked up by a distribution company:
One way to get your film on Netflix is to submit it to film festivals and try to get it picked up by a distribution company that already has a relationship with Netflix. These distribution companies can then negotiate a deal with Netflix to have your film added to their streaming platform. However, this can be a difficult and competitive process, as there are many films submitted to festivals each year.
2016’s “Moonlight” is an example of a film that was submitted to film festivals and picked up by a distribution company. The film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in 2016 and won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at the Miami International Film Festival. It was later picked up by A24, a distribution company with a relationship with Netflix, which helped the film to be available on Netflix.
2. Working with a sales agent or distributor:
Another option is to work with a sales agent or distributor who can shop your film to various streaming platforms, including Netflix. Sales agents and distributors have relationships with streaming platforms, and can use their connections to try and get your film added to Netflix. However, it’s important to keep in mind that working with a sales agent or distributor usually comes at a cost.
“The Irishman” which stars Al Pacino, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci is an example of a film that was shopped to various streaming platforms, including Netflix, by a sales agent or distributor. The film was produced and directed by Martin Scorsese and was distributed by STX films, who later on sold the distribution rights to Netflix.
3. Pitching an Idea to Netflix directly:
Netflix also produces its own content, which are known as ‘Netflix Originals’. Some of these productions are a result of pitches from creators, but the process is not open to general public and it’s often done through industry connections, agents, or production companies that have a pre-existing relationship with Netflix.
If you have an idea, game, script, screenplay, or production already in development that you’d like to pitch to Netflix, you must work through a licensed agent, producer, attorney, manager, or industry executive, as appropriate, who already has a relationship with Netflix.
It is often easier to get your project in front of them through these channels but Netflix is often very much tight lipped about how a particular film idea or project was introduced or picked up by them.
As an indie filmmaker it is important to consider alternative streaming platforms and distribution channels as they may be more accessible. A multi-faceted approach to distribution, where you explore multiple options, is key to increasing your chances of success. Being open to different opportunities can help you find the best fit for your film and reach the audience you want.
Many streaming platforms have relationships with distribution companies and sales agents, and some may also have their own independent submission platforms. However, the acceptance process and requirements for each platform may vary.
It’s important to research and understand the submission guidelines and requirements for each platform you are interested in submitting your film to.