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Sales Agents

Selling a film abroad is a time-consuming and specialised project. Which is why having a Sales Agent to sell your film to foreign distributors is so important.

How do I find a Sales Agent?

It’s a good idea to start exploring sales agents early on at international workshops, festivals and markets. This enables you to gain exposure for your project while it’s still in development.

A festival is an excellent showcase for your film. Sales agents and distributors shop around for the best projects at international festivals and (co-production) markets. Films that have already passed the development stage, but still don’t have a sales agent or distributor attached, can benefit from being toured around festivals. To be able to take full advantage of a 'festival tour', it’s essential to pay particular attention to timelines and the so-called ‘ranking’ of festivals. SEE NL can help you do this effectively.

The European Film Market, Berlinale 2019
The European Film Market, Berlinale 2019

There are only a handful of (specialised) Sales Agents that take on (small) non-English language films. The sales agents that are willing to sell Dutch films, do this primarily because they have an affinity with these films. So, before approaching a sales agent, you should familiarise yourself with what sort of films they have in the catalogue.

What does a Sales Agent do?

A Sales Agent brings your film to the attention of the appropriate target groups, such as international festival programmers, distributors, and the media, with the ultimate objective of selling the film to a foreign distributor who will then release it.

Approach a sales agent yourself

Of course, you can approach sales agents yourself. It’s important to present your film properly, preferably by means of a well-crafted package of information, including: screenplay, budget, synopsis, stills, director and producer’s filmography and statements, information about the cast, references and rationale indicating why you’re approaching this particular Sales Agent. At the very least, a Sales Agent will always want to know what the film is about (theme, genre), what its target audience(s) is/are and, if the film is still in development, how the film is going to be produced (screenplay, budget, cast, crew). Being selected for a major festival increases your chances of finding a Sales Agent.

European Sales Agents

For a summary of European Sales Agents, see the guide by European Film Promotion. An overview of Dutch Sales Agents can be found at see-nl.com.

EFP guide 21/22