Utopia is a multi-faceted, filmmaker-friendly distribution and sales company that connects audiences with feature films. Utopia empowers filmmakers by taking a ‘filmmaker first’ approach, focused on creating new revenue and monetization opportunities, improving the direct-to-consumer experience, and helping filmmakers maintain a global presence.
UTOPIA Launches a Filmmaker-Friendly, Worldwide Sales & Acquisitions Service
The company was co-founded by filmmaker Robert Schwartzman
LOS ANGELES, CA - February 26, 2019 - A new distribution company, Utopia, has entered the marketplace with a series of filmmaker-friendly services, including a technology platform that is to be released later this year.
Utopia is taking a ‘filmmaker first’ approach, focused on creating new revenue and monetization opportunities, improving the direct-to-consumer experience, and helping filmmakers maintain a global presence. Co-founded by filmmaker Robert Schwartzman, the company's technology platform will give filmmakers more control, higher marketing ROI, and stronger data collection tools to pave their own road and audience. Simultaneously, Utopia resources provide more traditional and creative distribution paths for theatrical and digital releases, including support with press, marketing, and global exposure.
“I’m always looking at Utopia through a filmmaker lens and setting a course that will benefit creatives who put everything on the line for their films” said Schwartzman. "It’s not easy to sell a film today - it’s not easy to reach an audience no matter what your track record is, because the climate is constantly changing. If Utopia can help solve or alleviate even 1% of the problems that are a reality for 99% of filmmakers, I would consider that a victory for the entire film industry.”
David Betesh, the New York City based sales exec who previously headed global sales for Gunpowder & Sky, recently joined Utopia to launch the international sales outfit as the Head of Sales & Acquisitions. The company recently acquired worldwide rights to music documentary, FIDDLIN’, which has been making waves and winning audience awards at festivals around the country. The film is due out in theaters summer 2019.
"Our team is building Utopia's services around the pain points of the industry," said Schwartzman. "When filmmakers get a chance to use the tools we've been building, share their work with the world, and see the level of control and financial return they can generate for themselves, they'll have no reason to bypass our platform."
Betesh, Schwartman and the Utopia team will be on the ground at the upcoming SXSW Film Festival looking at new films for potential acquisition.
About Utopia: Utopia is a film acquisitions, sales, and technology company with a ‘filmmaker first’ approach. Utopia focuses on creating new revenue and monetization opportunities, improving the direct-to-consumer experience, and helping filmmakers maintain a global presence. Co-founded by filmmaker Robert Schwartzman, the company's platform will give filmmakers more control, higher marketing ROI, and stronger data collection tools than other platforms.
About David Betesh: While at Gunpowder, Betesh closed precedent-setting distribution deals on tastemaker titles including The Little Hours, starring Aubrey Plaza, RKSS’s Sundance thriller, Summer Of 84, Hearts Beat Loud, starring Nick Offerman, Vice Studios and 20th Century Fox’s Lords Of Chaos, starring Rory Culkin, SXSW award winner, Prospect, starring Pedro Pascal, and Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell, starring Elisabeth Moss. Prior to Gunpowder, Betesh was at Creative Artists Agency in Television Packaging. Betesh will serve as the Head of Sales & Acquisitions for Utopia.
About Robert Schwartzman: Schwartzman began his career in the music industry as songwriter and front man for platinum-selling and global touring band, ROONEY. In 2016, he directed and produced the feature film, DREAMLAND, which made its world debut in competition at the Tribeca Film Festival where it was picked up for distribution and can be seen on Netflix. His follow up feature film, THE UNICORN, debuted in competition at the SXSW Film Festival 2018 and was recently released in theaters and is currently available on-demand. In 2017, Schwartzman founded NEW BRIDGE, the first US independent feature film program at the Shanghai International Film Festival. Schwartzman has been active in the tech startup space for over a decade, serving as an advisor to startups with an entertainment focus.
Align the story, genre, cast, and overall body of work to the appropriate markets, target audience, and exhibitors.
Enhance the monetization through promotional and cross-vertical opportunities missing from the traditional distribution approach.
Support filmmakers through effective P&A while still allowing maximum returns and a path to faster profitability.