Film Distribution in New Zealand: Industrial Organisation, Power Relations and Market Failure

This paper provides an overview of the distribution of feature films in New Zealand to add to the scarce literature on this topic. It studies the relationships among distributors and local producers. Based on a perspective of the political economy of culture and a review of international literature on cinema distribution, our empirical research consisted of (1) a qualitative study of interviews with feature film practitioners and (2) an industrial analysis based on media reports, documents, and statistics. As a result, we observed that the feature film distribution sector is in good shape while there is a reported market failure in the distribution of New Zealand films. Many local producers struggle to find distribution deals while those who do find them discover they are disadvantageous to producers. This paper explores some of the distribution dynamics underlying the market failure in New Zealand and suggests some possible solutions ​
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