Breaking Glass Pictures: Q&A

(Above: ‘Kanarie.’ Source: Breaking Glass Pictures)

Breaking Glass Pictures is a Philadelphia-based distributor of indie and art-house titles, selected from film festivals around the world.

Rich Wolff
Rich Wolff

The company’s films can be found on Netflix, Vudu, iTunes, Amazon and other streaming services.

The Savvy Screener recently spoke with Breaking Glass Pictures Co-Founder and CEO Rich Wolff about the company’s evolution and plans for the future.

TSS: Why, how and when did BPG get started? Where is BGP based? 

Rich Wolff: Breaking Glass Pictures released its first film on November 17, 2009. The company is based in Old City Philadelphia. 

TSS: How has BGP’s business evolved since in the 10 years since your launch? 

Wolff: That’s a good question – DVD sales have decreased in the industry. However, our own physical goods sales remain healthy. Digital continues to grow nicely, but film is becoming more of a commodity which ultimately hurts filmmakers – getting 5,000 films to watch for $10 month decreases the perceived value of a film. Breaking Glass and others have to work harder to maintain current revenue levels.   

TSS: What makes BGP different from other independent film distributors? 

Wolff: We make ourselves available to our filmmakers – work collaboratively – do our best. There are a lot of good companies out there, and we do our best to stand out.

TSS: What is the breakdown between streaming rentals and streaming sales/downloads? 

Wolff: Streaming rentals are much more prevalent, about 80%, and download to own is about 20%. 

TSS: Is straight-to-streaming more lucrative than straight-to-home video (i.e., DVDs, Blu-ray)? 

Wolff: It depends on the title. A lot of factors contribute to the lucrativeness of a film.

TSS: What specific genres does BGP specialize in? Any upcoming titles you can tell us about? 

Wolff: LGBT and foreign language to name a couple. We recently acquired the beautiful, musical drama Kanarie (Canary) from South Africa, the festival favorite Is That You? (Eres Tu Papa?) from Cuba, and a few other films we’ll be announcing shortly. 

TSS: What are your biggest challenges right now? 

Wolff: Sifting through the titles from all the festivals and finding the right titles to add to our catalog. 

TSS: What’s next for BGP? 

Wolff: We have a 10-city release for She’s Just a Shadow, an amazing gangster thriller film shot in Japan, but mostly in English. It’s pretty extreme: sex, drugs, gangsters and a serial killer thrown in for good measure. Adam Sherman directed and wrote the film – he also produced the last two Larry Clark films – Marfa Girl 1 and 2.

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