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Matching Independent Filmmakers with Global Distributors

By Mark Byers  |  28-Jun-2007

"The greatest roadblock to success for an independent producer is not access to name talent or a great script or even money – it's distribution." That's the view of Mark Byers, independent writer/producer, and co-creator of the website.

Byers has worked in the independent film industry for over 25 years, both in the United States, and throughout the world. "I have seen truly extraordinary films all around the planet – the digital revolution has enabled filmmakers to get their passion and vision onto the screen. The problem is, no one is seeing these wonderful movies."

That's why Byers, along with partners Ken Wait and Andy Mastroianni, created the Independent Screening Room (, a website that literally matchmakes between independent filmmakers and established worldwide distribution companies and sales agents.

"In this business, it's all about who you know." Byers says. "You've got to be pretty well-connected to get your film into the hands of someone who has access to the screens and the global DVD distribution channels. But most independent filmmakers, no matter how brilliant their film is, just don't have that access."

The website allows filmmakers to post a synopsis of their finished film, along with posters, photos, film clips, and a trailer. Distributors from all over the world are able to access these films directly and evaluate them for distribution in national or global markets. The site is fully password protected, with streaming media only – none of the filmmaker's work can be downloaded or distributed without their permission.

And all negotiations take place directly between the filmmaker and the distributor. "Independent Screening Room does not get in the middle of a deal," Mastroianni notes. "We simply facilitate an introduction and let them work out their own arrangements."

The Independent Screening Room website could just be a match made in heaven for both filmmakers looking for a way to get their movies seen by a global audience, and also for distributors searching for the next Big Hit. Independent Screening Room is part of the overall Shining Star World Cinema web portal at

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