Distribution and Markets (EAFM200)

StaffProfessor William Higbee - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

To guide students in understanding the processes shaping independent film production, distribution, and exhibition.

To ask students to think and write critically about how films outside of the Hollywood majors are prepared for and delivered to audiences in specific historical, cultural, and industrial contexts, drawing on major examples from North American, European, and World film cultures.

To require students to reflect in detail about the fluidity and problematic nature of independent cinema as a concept, and how it is shaped by historical, cultural, and industrial contexts.

To analyze the relationship between the independent and major sectors of the international film industry. To understand, through a comparative analysis of the Hollywood studio system and alternative production and distribution practices, the current condition of the international film business.

To encourage students to develop their own advanced insight into the constantly evolving practices of film distribution and exhibition that characterize the international film business.

To understand the key role played by film festivals in the international film business

To encourage students to make use of a research archive (in this case the Bill Douglas Centre) as a resource for participation in taught classes, independent study and coursework assignments and to provide students with the relevant training to use this archival resource. 

To develop the practical skills required to devise, programme, market and deliver a group pop-up cinema assignment.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of international film production, distribution, and exhibition practices across a range of historical periods.
  • 2. Demonstrate an advanced knowledge of the academic debates in the field, and the key issues pertaining to an analysis of international film production, distribution, and exhibition practices.
  • 3. Demonstrate a sophisticated knowledge of the fluidity of independence as a concept, its relationship to the (Hollywood) majors and how it is shaped by historical, cultural, and industrial contexts.
  • 4. Demonstrate an advanced ability to critically analyse case studies that exemplify particular phases in the development of the international film business.
  • 5. Develop the practical skills required to devise, programme, market and deliver a group pop-up cinema assignment.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 6. Demonstrate a sophisticated knowledge of the ways in which the international film industry embraces complex and interrelated issues of production, exhibition, and distribution, and to be able to apply this knowledge to produce advanced analyses of key case studies.
  • 7. Demonstrate an advanced approach the study of the international film business in terms of the inter-relation of various textual and contextual factors, and to conduct research and engage in critical discussion and debate.
  • 8. Demonstrate advanced and precise skills in the assessment of film production, distribution, and exhibition practices.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. Through essay-writing, demonstrate advanced research and bibliographic skills, an advanced and intellectually mature capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument and to write clear and correct prose.
  • 10. Through research for seminars, essays, and presentations demonstrate an advanced proficiency in information retrieval and analysis.
  • 11. Through preparation of the pop-up cinema assignment, demonstrate an advanced capacity to work in a group to deliver a shared project and gain experience of event management

Syllabus plan

Weeks 1-5: 


A series of 10 lectures (2 per week) providing an introduction to the historical development of key and emerging film markets across the globe and the current challenges facing these markets. The lectures will be supported by workshops discussing individual national cinemas as case studies and the selected films for this module


A 3-day filed trip to the London Film Festival will also be included as part of the first five weeks of this module


Week 6:


A session on pop-up and event cinema. At the end of this session the pop-up cinema assignment for week 12 will be set.


Weeks 7 – 11:


Coverage of key themes relating to production, distribution and exhibition, delivered as seminars and workshops:


  • The role of festivals and markets
  • Adaptation and the screenplay
  • The Producer as Entrepreneur
  • Technology: innovation and disruption
  • Film Marketing: Stars as capital value


Week 12:


Pop-up cinema event delivered in Bill Douglas Cinema Museum

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities6 HoursModule induction part of a two-day introduction to the programme and module at the start of the programme that includes a tour and introduction to the research archive at the Bill Douglas Centre
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities10 Hours10 x one hour lectures, weeks 1-5
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities6 Hours3 two hour workshops to complement lectures in weeks 1-5
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities18 Hours 3-day field trip to London Film Festival
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activies7 HoursTeaching, consultation and delivery of pop-up cinema assignment
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activies10 Hours1-hour seminars to discuss selected film for weeks 1-5 and 7-11.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activies10 Hours5 x 2-hour seminars, weeks 7-11
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activies5 Hours5 x 1 hour workshops weeks 7-11
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activies5 Hours3 – 5 guest speaker events programmed across weeks 2-11
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activies1 Hour 2 x 30 minute individual tutorial session spread across the term to check on individual student’s progress
Guided Independent Study22 HoursIndependent/group viewing of selected screenings (primary film texts) for lectures, seminars and workshops
Guided Independent Study11 HoursPreparation for group presentations
Guided Independent Study50 HoursPreparation for pop-up cinema assignment
Guided Independent Study139 HoursReading and preparation for lectures, seminars, workshops, presentations and assessed coursework.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written Response Paper500 words2,4,6,7,8,9Written feedback from tutor(s)

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group Presentation2530 minute oral presentation (Powerpoint presentation and hand-outs used by group in presentation submitted to tutor(s) at the end of presentation)1-3, 6-8, 10Verbal feedback in class, written feedback from tutor(s)
Essay252500 words1-4, 6-10Written feedback from tutor(s)
Group pop-up cinema event35Design, marketing and delivery of a 60-75 minute programme of short films as part of a pop-up cinema event5, 8, 11Written feedback from tutor(s)
Critical reflection of pop-up event151000 words5, 8, 9, 11Written feedback from tutor(s)

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group presentationWritten summary of group presentation (1000 words)1-3, 6-10Referral/Deferral period
EssayEssay (2500 words)1-3, 6-10Referral/Deferral period
Group pop-up cinema eventLogbook summary of pop-up event(3000 words)1-3, 6-11Referral/Deferral period
Critical Reflection of pop-up eventEssay (1000 words)1-3, 6-11Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

  • Reassessment exercises will carry the same weightings as the original assessments. The pop-up cinema event cannot be re-assessed as this is a one-off, one day event with a public audience. Instead the submission of a logbook summarizing the development and delivery of this event will be required.
  • The group presentation cannot be re-assessed – instead a written summary of the individual student’s contribution to the original group presentation will be submitted.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Bespoke package of articles, cases and other readings prepared in the form of a digital module reader and accessed via ELE.


Required viewing:


A programme of films will be selected by tutors that can be used as case studies for the given topics covered that week in the given lecture/seminar/workshop. These currently include:


Amélie (Jeunet, 2001)

Aria (Various, producer Don Boyd, 1987)

The Big Sleep (Hawks, 1946)

The Birds (Hitchcock, 1963)

Breakfast at Tiffany's (Edwards, 1961)

La Haine (Kassovitz, 1995)

Un homme qui crie/a screaming man (Haroun, 2010)

In the Mood for Love (Wong-kar wai, 2000)

Moulin Rouge (Luhrmann, 2001)

Om Shanti Om,  (Farah Khan, 2007)

Les Plages d’Agnès (Varda, 2008)

Russian Ark (Sokurov, 2002)

Sex, Lies and Videotape (Soderberg, 1989)

Skyfall (Mendes, 2012)

Spirited away (Hayao, 2001)

Touki bouki (Mambety, 1973)

Under the Skin (Glazer, 2013)



Additional Recommended reading:


  • Dale, Martin, The Movie Game: the film business in Britain, Europe and America , Cassel, 1997.
  • De Valck, Marijke, Film Festivals: from European Geopolitics to Global Cinephilia, Amsterdam University Press: Amsterdam, 2007.King, Geoff et al, American Independent Cinema: indie, indiewood, and beyond, London: Routledge, 2013.
  • Finney, A. (2014) The International Film Business: A market Guide beyond Hollywood, 2nd edition, Routledge, London
  • MacDonald, Paul and Wasko, Janet (eds.) The Contemporary Hollywood Film Industry, London: Blackwell, 2008Wong, Cindy H., Film Festivals: culture, people and power on the global screen, New Brunswick (NJ) / London: Rutgers University Press, 2011.
  • Spicer, Andrew et alBeyond the Bottom Line: The Producer in Film and Television Studies, London: Bloomsbury, 2014


ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages


Web based and electronic resources:


Other resources:


Archival material in the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum


Module has an active ELE page?


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Distribution, Markets, Bill Douglas Centre, International Film Business, film