We think Dogwoof is unique as a distributor as we now focus solely on ethical and social issue-based films. It’s an enigma, as distributors are traditionally commercial and purely about profit. But Dogwoof believes there is a double bottom line - it is not purely about profit, but also helping the planet and people. We are interested in any film that encourages change - film is a great medium for encouraging change.
Dogwoof sees social issue films as a necessity in modern times – there are monumental changes happening, both environmentally and socially, and someone has to step up and help give a voice to the concerns that these bring. As a distributor, we do things that engage people in what they believe in - this is not about push marketing, and selling popcorn. It moves beyond the cynical use of social responsibility programmes, which are mostly about managing negatives – think oil companies and environmental initiatives. This is about doing something because we believe in it - it is better when there is no obvious commercial benefit, it’s better when it’s deeply personal rather than corporate.
Documentaries traditionally reach only small numbers but through strategic working relationships with similar-minded people such as The Co-operative, we can reach far greater audiences. But it isn’t really so much about just getting publicity and bums on seats, it’s more about instilling belief. If one person sees BURMA VJ or VANISHING OF THE BEES and gets passionate about it, and tells ten friends, then it does a more deep-seated job than any other form of marketing can achieve.
All the people we employ believe in these causes - this is our key differentiator. You cannot run the campaigns we do as traditional commercial campaigns. And you need to believe in what you do.
And we’ll stick to this mantra moving forward.
Andy Whittaker | Dogwoof CEO