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A Guide to Documentary Distributors

By Mitchell Block

Glossary of Terms

Agents: Represent works for a fee to distributors or to broadcast/cable/satellite outlets.

Broadcasters/Cable-Satellite Programming Distributors: These entities buy and produce documentaries for transmission over the air (broadcasters such as ABC, NBC, PBS, etc.), via cable (cable programming companies such as A&E, HBO), satellite distributors (such as Canal+, DirectTV). They sometimes also distribute to the home video (and educational) markets.

Broadcast/Cable-Satellite Distributors: These distributors sell television/cable/satellite rights to broadcast, cable and satellite outlets. Many theatrical, home video and educational distributors also do this. Rights are broken up in the following manner: “Worldwide,” “English Language,” “US and Canada Only,” etc. These distributors sell to the broadcast, cable and satellite programming distributors at trade shows such as NAB, MIPCOM, MIPDOC, Cannes, etc.

Educational Distributors: Also know as non-theatrical distributors. They manufacture copies of works on video, DVD and film and sell to educational institutions such as churches, schools, businesses, etc. They sell works with a “Public Performance” license. They may promote to these markets using catalogues, websites, etc. Some educational distributors have thousands of titles, and others handle just a few. Many specialize in specific market areas such as College and Library or LGBT, or specialize by subject areas such as Environmental, etc.

Home Video Distributors: These distributors manufacture copies of works and sell them directly to consumers or to consumers via retailers and cataloguers. They also sell to wholesalers who work with stores.

Independent Theatrical Distributors: These are specialized divisions of large companies and smaller companies that release independent films to theaters and usually home video.

Producers Representatives: (also known as “Reps”) see “Agents”

Studios: Multi-national entertainment conglomerates such as Warner Bros., Disney, Paramount, MGM/UA, Universal and Twentieth Century-Fox. They generally can handle distribution on a global basis for all rights.

Syndicators: Distributors that make rights available to broadcast/cable/satellite outlets

Theatrical Distributors: Make works available in film and video formats to theaters, which are open to the public, advertise and charge admission.


Major Studios/Theatrical Distributors (Revenues over $100 Million) and Subsidiaries:


Alliance Atlantis
(see also Lions Gate)
121 Bloor St. East, Ste. 1400
Toronto, Ontario M4W 3M5
Tel: 416.967.1174
Studio. Distributes documentaries from time to time

Artisan Entertainment
157 Chambers St.
New York, NY 10007
Tel: 212.386.6879
Office also in Los Angeles
Tel: 310.449.9200
Studio. High-profile documentaries

Columbia Tristar
(see also Sony Pictures Entertainment)
Tel: 310.280.8000

Fine Line Features
(see also New Line [a division of AOL/TimeWarner])
116 N. Robertson. Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Tel: 310.967.6420

Focus Features
Studio part of USA/Universal
100 N. Crescent Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Tel: 310.385.4488
65 Bleecker St.
New York, NY 10012
Tel: 212.539.4000

Fox Searchlight Pictures
(see also Twentieth Century Fox [a division of News Corporation])

Division of AOL/Time Warner
1100 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Offices in Los Angeles, CA
Tel: 212.512.7400; 800.648.7650
Home video (in some cases, when it does the cable release)
Cable Network

Independent Film Channel Films (IFC)
11 Penn Plaza, 15th fl.
New York, NY 10001
Tel: 646.273.7205
Cable network, Distributor

Lions Gate Entertainment
(see also Atlantis Alliance)
4553 Glencoe Avenue #200
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Tel: 310.314.2000
Independent features, TV, animation
Studio (division of Atlantis Alliance)

MCA/Universal Home Video
(see also FOCUS; was USA)
Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
Tel: 818.777.4300; 818.733.0226;

MGM Home Entertainment, Inc.
MGM Plaza, 2500 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Tel: 310.449.3000
New York Address:
1350 Avenue of the Americas
New York, New York 10019
Tel: 212.408.0500

(also Dimension Films)
55 Hudson St.
New York, NY 10013
Tel: 212.941.3800
Additional Office in LA
Home video (distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment)
Tel: 323.822.4100
Studio (division of Disney)

New Line Home Video
(division of AOL Time Warner)
Tel: 310.967.6670
(distributes via Warner Bros.)

Paramount Pictures
(also Paramount Classics)
5555 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Tel: 323.956.5000
Studio (owned by Viacom)

Sony Pictures Classics
550 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Tel: 212.833.8833

Sony Pictures Entertainment
(also Tristar Productions, Sony Pictures Classics)
10202 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Tel: 310.244.4000

Turner Home Entertainment Company
(also Turner Classic Movies [TCM])
1888 Century Park East
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Tel: 310.788.6767
Tel: 404.827.3066; 800.523.0823
Broadcaster division of AOL/Time Warner (not theatrical)
Home video folded into Warner Home Video; sells clips to studios.

Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation
(see also Fox Searchlight)
10201 W Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Tel: 310.369.1000
Division of News Corporation

Universal Studios
(see also FOCUS and Universal Home Video)
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608
Tel: 818.777.1000
Studio division of Vivendi

Walt Disney Studios (Buena Vista)
(also Disney Pictures, Disney Home Video, Disney Publishing)
500 S Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA 91521
Tel: 818.560.1000

Warner Brothers
(also PBS Home Video, Warner Home Video)
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505
Tel: 818.954.5000
Division of AOL Time Warner
Documentary Theatrical, Broadcast Television, Cable, Home Video and Educational Distributors and Agents (Except as noted, all are based in the US)

A&E Home Video
(with History, Biography and A&E Channels)
Tel: 888.423.1212
Broadcaster of documentaries, literary classics (not theatrical)

Anchor Bay Entertainment
A division of the Handleman Company
Tel: 248.816.0909
Feature films, kids videos, fitness, special interest home video

Acorn Media
7910 Woodmont Ave., Suite 350
Bethesda, MD 20814
Tel: 800.999.0212
British, documentaries, special interest home video

Adler Media, Inc.
6849 Old Dominion Drive, Ste. 360
McLean, VA 22101
Tel: 703.556.8880
Home video, broadcast agents

African American Videos
755 O'Farrell St. #309
San Francisco, CA 94115
Tel: 877.467.1735
Educational video catalog service catalog with a selection of videos exploring the Black experience

Aims Multimedia
(formerly the Media Guild)
9710 DeSoto Ave.
Chatsworth, CA 91311-4409
Tel: 800.367-2467; 818.773.4300
Educational distributor

Altschul Group Corporation
1560 Sherman Ave., Suite 100
Evanston, IL 60201-9971
Tel: 800.323.9084; 708.328.6700
Parent company of multiple educational distributors

Ambrose Video Publishing Inc.
1290 Avenue of the Americas, Ste. 2245
New York, NY 10104
Tel: 800.526.4663
Educational and home video distributor. Documentaries and educational videos for schools, libraries and other institutions. Sciences, social studies, health, BBC Shakespeare series

Aquarius Health Care Videos
266 Main St., Ste. 3313
Medfield , MA 02052
Tel: 888.440.2963
Educational distributor

Arthur Cantor Video Collection
1501 Broadway, Ste. 403
New York, NY 10036
Tel: 800.237.3801
Educational and limited theatrical distributor. Film classics, Jewish heritage, art, music, world cultures

ArtsAmerica, Inc.
9 Benedict Pl.
Greenwich, CT 06830-5321
Tel: 800.553.5278; 203.869.4694
Educational distributor of over 500 titles on art, artists and art history

Artistic License
250 W. 57th St.
New York, NY 10107
Tel: 212.265.9119
Theatrical and home video doc features, sales.

BMG Entertainment
LA- and NY-based
Tel: 212.930.4000
Home video music, some docs (not theatrical)
Baxley Media Group
110 West Main St.
Urbana, IL 61801
Tel: 800.421.6999
Educational distributor. Over 100 programs in psychological and ethical issues in health care, programs for schools and businesses

Benchmark Media
569 No. State Rd.
Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510
Tel: 800.438.5564; 914.762.3838
No website
Educational distributor

Brentwood Communications
Tel: 845 267-2459
Home video distributo. martial arts, urban, special interest
Bridgestone Multimedia Group
Excalibur Films
3621 W. Commonwealth
Fullerton, CA 92833
Home video distributor. Family, inspirational, adult titles

Bullfrog Films, Inc.
PO Box 149
Oley, PA 19547
Tel: 800.543.3764; 610.779.8226
Traditional educational distributor. Strong collection on environment, ecology, sustainable development and indigenous people

California Newsreel
500 3rd St., Ste. 505
San Francisco, CA 94107
Tel: 415.284.7800
Nonprofit, educational video distributor. African-American video, African video, video on the workplace, and media and society

Cambridge Documentary Films, Inc.
PO Box 390385
Cambridge, MA 02139-0004
Tel: 617.484.3993
Specialized educational distributor

Carousel Film & Video
250 Fifth Ave., Suite 204
New York, NY 10001
Tel: 800.683.1660
Specialized educational distributor

Chip Taylor Communications
2 East View Dr.
Derry, NH 03038
Tel: 603.434.9262; 800.876.2447
Educational distributor. 1,500 titles in all subject areas
formerly Center Productions, Inc. & Churchill Films, Inc.
6465 North Avondale Ave.
Chicago, IL 60631-1996
Tel: 800CLEARVU (253.2788)
Educational distributor

Cowboy Pictures
13 Laight St., 6th Flr.
New York, NY 10013
Tel: 212.925.7800
Theatrical and home distribution of doc features
The Criterion Collection
Tel: 773.878.2600
Special edition DVDs

CRM Films
2215 Faraday Ave.
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Tel: 800.421.0833; 619.431.9800
Educational distributor. Over 400 video titles with topics focusing on business training works

CS Associates
22 Weston Rd.
Lincoln, MA 01773
Tel: 781.259.9988
Broadcast cable distributor. Represents works to broadcasters worldwide

Devillier Donegan Enterprises
4401 Connecticut Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: 202.686.3980
Finances documentaries and markets rights to these works

DSR, Inc.
9111 Guilford Rd.
Columbia, MD 21046
Tel: 301.490.3500
Educational distributor. African social message films and videos.

Direct Cinema Ltd.
PO Box 10003
Santa Monica, CA 90410
Tel: 800.525.0000; 310.636.8200 (educational) (home video)
Limited theatrical, home video and educational distribution of documentary shorts, series, features

Documentary Educational Resources (DER)
101 Morse St.
Watertown, MA 02172
Tel: 800.569.6621; 617.926.0491
Educational distributor of films and videos in broadly defined areas of anthropology, ethnography, sociology

Electronic Arts Intermix
535 West 22nd St., 5th floor
New York, NY 10011
Tel: 212.337.0680
Educational distributor. Avant-garde and experimental film and video, performance works, video art

Emerging Pictures
245 W. 55th St., 4th Flr.
New York, NY 10019
Tel: 212.245.6767
Acquires and distributes documentaries, theatrical and home video

Ergo Media, Inc.
668 American Legion Dr, PO Box 2037
Teaneck, NJ 07666-1437
Tel: 800.695.ERGO (3746)
Educational and home video distributor. Judaism and Jewish culture, Jewish Diaspora, Israel

Facets Video
1517 W. Fullerton Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
Tel: 800.888.0775
Educational (limited) and home video distributor. Foreign, independent, documentaries

Fanlight Productions
4196 Washington St., Ste. 2
Boston, MA 02131
Tel: 617.469.4999
Educational distributor. Health care, mental health, disabilities, gerontology, the workplace, family issues and sex roles

Filmakers Library, Inc.
124 East 40th St.
New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212.808.4980
Educational distributor. Collection of award-winning documentary films and videos primarily for educational use

Film Ideas
3710 Commercial Ave.
Northbrook, IL 60062
Tel: 800.475.3456; 847.480.5760
Educational distributor

The Film-Makers' Cooperative
108 Leonard St., 13th Flr.
New York, NY 10013
Tel: 212. 267.5665
Educational and limited home video. Largest distributor of experimental and avant-garde films

Films Transit International
402 East Notre Dame #100
Montreal H2Y 1C8 Canada
Tel: 514.844.3358
Canadian-based sales agent for television, cable and other rights

Films for the Humanities & Sciences
PO Box 2053
Princeton, NJ 08543-2053
Tel: 800.257.5126; 609.275.1400
Educational and home video distributor One of the largest educational distributor with thousands of titles. Handles selected educational docs

First Light Video Publishing
2321 Abbot Kinney Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291
Tel: 310.577.8581
Educational and home video distributor specializing in videos that deal with media arts

First Run Features
153 Waverly Pl.
New York, NY 10014
Tel: 800.229.8575
Educational, home video distributor. Also limited theatrical documentaries, gay/lesbian

Fox Lorber Home Video
(see Windstar)

346 9th St.
San Francisco, Ca 94103
Tel: 415.703.8650
Educational and home video distributor. Exhibition, distribution, promotion and funding of lesbian and gay film and video

Goldhil Video
137 East Thousand Oaks Bl.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Tel: 800.250.8760
Specialized mass market home video distributor

Home Vision Entertainment
Home Vision Entertainment
4423 North Ravenswood Ave.
Chicago, IL 60640-5802
Tel: 773.878.2600
Home video distributor. Foreign, arthouse, independents, documentaries, Criterion Collection

Icarus Films (and First Run Features)
32 Court St., 21st Flr.
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Tel: 800.876.1710; 718.488.8900
Large educational/theatrical(First Run Features) distributor of both curricular and non-curricular docs

Image Entertainment
9333 Oso Avenue
Chatsworth, CA 91311
Tel: 818.407.9100
Largest licensee and distributor of laserdiscs in North America, Also does DVD home video.

Insight Media
2162 Broadway
New York, NY 10024
Tel: 800.233.9910; 212.721.6316
Educational distributor of videos
Instructional Video
25958 Genesee Trail Rd., Unit K-332
Golden, CO 80401-5742
Tel: 303.526.4240
Educational distributor. Large collection of educational videos

Janson Associates, Inc.
88 Semmens Rd.
Harrington Park, NJ 07640
Tel: 201.784.8488
Education and home video distributor and broadcast sales. Small collection of special interest docs

Kino International Corp.
333 W. 39th St., Ste. 503
New York, NY 10018
Tel: 800.562.3330
Education, home video and theatrical distribution. Foreign, independent, documentary films

Kultur Video
(also White Star Video)
195 Highway 36
West Long Beach, NJ 07764
Tel: 800.458.5887
Home video performing arts programs, with emphasis on music, dance, art, ballet and opera

L & S Video, Inc.
45 Stornowaye
Chappaqua, NY
Tel: 914.238.9366
Educational and home video distribution. African-American artists’ documentaries on both art history contemporary arts

Landmark Media
3450 Slade Run Dr.
Falls Church, VA 22042
Tel: 703.241.2030; 800.342.4336
Educational distributor of K-12, library and college film.

Live Wire Media
3450 Sacramento St.
San Francisco, CA 94118
Tel: 415.564.9500; 800.359.KIDS
Educational distributor for grades K-12

Lucerne Media
37 Ground Pine Rd.
Morris Plains, NJ 07950
Tel: 800.341.2293
Specialized educational distributor

Media for the Arts
360 Thames St.
Newport, RI 02840
Tel: 800.554.6008
Educational distributor. Focus on films dealing with the arts

Milestone Film & Video
PO Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640-0128
Tel: 800.603.1104
Home video distributor. Independent, art house, silent films, limited theatrical

Monterey Media Inc.
566 Saint Charles Dr.
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
Tel: 800.934.4336
Home video distributor. Grateful Dead, American Playhouse

MPI Media Group
16101 South 108th Ave.
Orland Park, IL 60462
Tel: 800.777.2223; 708.460.0555
Specialized distributor of documentary and other works. Mass market collection

MPI Home Video
16101 South 108th Ave.
Orland Park, IL 60462
Tel: 708.460.0555
Home video distributor—Kids video, TV, music, movies, educational.

Mypheduh Film, Inc.
PO Box 10035
Washington, DC 20018-0035
Tel: 800.524.3895; 202.234.4755
Educational and home video distributor. African-American cinema and documentary films

Mystic Fire Video
PO Box 422
New York, NY 10012-0008
Tel: 800.292.9001
Home video distributor. New age documentaries

National Asian American Telecommunications Association (NAATA)
Formerly: CrossCurrent Media
346 Ninth St., 2nd Fl.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel: 415.552.9550
Educational distributor. Largest provider of Asian-American audio/visual materials in the world, with over 70 film, video and audio cassette titles

National Geographic
1145 17th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: 202.857.7000
Contact: Educational Video Department
Acquires rights to appropriate works for educational and/or home video distribution.

New Day Films
22-D Hollywood Ave.
Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ 07423
Tel: 888.367.9154; 201.652.6590
Educational and some home video distribution. Long surviving self-distribution/co-op; outstanding documentaries and other works

New Video
126 Fifth Ave 15th Flr,
New York, NY 10011
Tel: 800.314.8822
Home video distribution lines include A&E, MTM, NBC News

New Yorker Video
16 W. 61st St., 11th flr.
New York, NY 10023
Tel: 212.247.6110
Home video distributor. Foreign, US independent films

Polygram Video (PV)
825 8th Ave.
New York, NY 10019
Tel: 212.333.8000; 800.825.7781
not a theatrical distributor

Pyramid Media
PO Box 1048
Santa Monica, CA 90406-1048
Tel: 310.828.7577; 800.421.2304
High-end traditional educational distributor

Questar Video, Inc.
(also owns New Dimension Media)
PO Box 11345
680 N. Lake Shore Dr., Ste. 900
Chicago, IL 60611-0345
Tel: 800.544.8422; 312.266.9400
Broad collection of historical and other docs. Mass market home video

Home video distributor
RKO Pictures and RKO Home Video
1875 Century Park East, Suite 2140
Los Angeles, CA 90067-2522
Tel: 310.277.3133; 800.321.1526 (orders only)
Not theatrical

Rainbow Educational Media
4540 Preslyn Dr.
Raleigh, NC 27604-3177
Tel: 800.331.4047
Educational distributor. School and library works

Rhapsody Films
46-2 Becket Hill Road
Lyme, CT 06371
Tel: 860.434.3610
Specialized home video distributor of music (specializes in jazz)

Rhino Home Video
10635 Santa Monica Blvd., 2nd Fl.
Los Angeles, CA 90025-4900
Tel: 310.474.4778; 800.843.3670
Home video distributor, division of AOL Time Warner. Strong music and specialized mass market works

Roland Collection
22-D Hollywood Ave.
Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ 07423
Tel: 800.597.6526; 201.251.8200
Home and educational video distributor. International collection of films.
Roxie Cinema Releasing
3125 16th St.
San Francisco, CA 94103
Tel: 415.863.1087
Theatrical and home video distributor. Specialized distributor of doc and fiction features

Seventh Art Releasing
7551 Sunset Blvd., Ste. 104
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Tel: 323.845.1455
Broadcast and limited home video and theatrical distributor. Releases small number of docs in theaters and on home video annually

Shanachie Entertainment
37 E. Clinton St.
Newton, NJ 07860
Tel: 973.579.7763
Home video distributor. Focus on music

Showtime Entertainment
Tel: 310.234.5416
Showtime Network, home video distributor. Original films and series
SISU Home Entertainment Inc.
Tel: 800.223.SISU
Home and educational distributor. Jewish, Israeli, music

Solid Entertainment
610 Santa Monica Blvd., Ste. 204
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tel: 310.319.3440
International broadcast distributor of documentary programs

Strand Releasing Home Video
1460 Fourth St., Ste. 302
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tel: 310.395.5002
Independent, foreign features, theatrical and home video

SFM Entertainment
1180 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
Tel: 212.398.4496
Television syndication and sales

Terra Nova Films
9848 South Winchester Ave.
Chicago, IL 60643
Tel: 800.779.8491; 773.881.8491
Educational distributor. Strong collection of films on health

The Cinema Guild
130 Madison Ave., 2nd flr.
New York, NY 10016-7038
Tel: 800.723.5522; 212.685.6242
Educational and home video distributor. Limited theatrical. Over 500 titles on health science, social studies, world cultures, arts and humanities, children's and young adult films, short fiction, how-to videos

651 Greenwich Street, 7th Fl
New York, NY 10013
Tel: 646.214.7908
Theatrical and home video distributor

Third World Newsreel/Camera News, Inc.
545 Eighth Ave., 10th flr.
New York, NY 10018
Tel: 212.947.9277
One of the oldest nonprofit distributors of documentaries and other works

University of California Extension Center for Media & Independent Learning (CMIL)
(UC Extension Media)
2000 Center St., 4th flr.
Berkeley, CA 94704
Tel: 510.642.0460
Nonprofit distributor at University of California, Berkeley, with 600 documentaries and educational media titles for use in universities, schools, public libraries

United Learning
1560 Sherman Ave., Ste. 100
Evanston, IL 60201
Tel: 800.323.9084; 847.328.6700
Large educational distributor, all subject areas

Video Project
PO Box 77188
San Francisco, CA 94107
Tel: 800.4.Planet; 415.2840600 or
Home video and educational distributor. Nonprofit social issue documentaries and educational films

Vision Video
PO Box 540
Worcester, PA 19490
Tel: 800.523.0226; 610.584.3500
Home video distributor. Christian films

Video Learning Library
15838 North 62nd St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85254-1988
Tel: 800.383.8811
Educational and home video. How-to, special interest. Sub-distributes many titles in catalogue

Visual Learning Company
25 Union St.
Brandon, VT 05733
Tel: 800.453.8481
Home video distributor. Small specialized video distributor

419 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016
Tel: 212.686.6777
Home video and theatrical distributor. Special interest, documentaries

Wolfe Video
PO Box 64
New Almaden, CA 95042
Tel: 800.GET.WOLFE
Home video distributor. Gay and lesbian-themed films

Women Make Movies
462 Broadway
New York, NY 10013
Tel: 212.925.0606
Educational and limited theatrical distributor. Long-established nonprofit with outstanding documentary collection

Xenon Entertainment
1440 9th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tel: 310.451.5510
Home video distributor. Independent features, urban

Zeitgeist Films Ltd.
247 Centre St., 2nd flr.
New York, NY 10013
Tel: 800.509.0448|
Broadcast, theatrical and home video distributor. Arthouse, documentaries, foreign
Some theatrical.


The theatrical listing of studios and major home video companies is based on a number of different sources, including The Hollywood Reporter, Daily Variety, Video Business, the Film Forum and the UC Extension Media listings. The educational/home video section of the list is based on the list of distributors who participate in the National Media Market and the UC Extension Media listings. All listings have been verified from data on company websites. We regret any errors or omissions.


© 2002 All Rights Reserved Mitchell W. Block-This compilation may not be duplicated or reproduced without the consent of the author.