Our sister site DV Guru has an excellent interview up with one of the hottest up-and-coming DIY filmmakers out there, Sujewa Ekanayake, whose latest film, Date Number One, has been doing quite well. Ekanayake shot the film entirely on digital video using an XL1S camera and also a VX2000. The entire project cost him about $10K and took about 2.5 years from start-to-finish; Ekanayake financed the film himself from his paychecks and investments from a few friends and family. He's also distributing the film himself -- the film has so far shown in Seattle, NYC and Washington DC (where Ekanayake is based).

The interview is a fascinating look at the making of a truly DIY, digital film, with Ekanayake speaking frankly about his experiences: The pros, the cons, and why he wouldn't do it any other way. You can check out more about Date Number One at Ekanayake's official website, and be sure to check out his fab blog, DIY Filmmaker, as well. Sadly, I missed the screening of the film in Seattle, but hopefully I can get my hands on a screener and then I'll tell you all about the film.

What really interested me about the DV Guru interview with Ekanayake is the whole DIY and self-distribution aspect of what he's doing. With Google buying YouTube and services like iKlipz, and official film websites, and MySpace pages for films, and filmmaking blogs, and all that other cool stuff the internet is making available, I'm quite curious to see how the world of film distribution will change over the next decade.
Sure, there's a lot of noise on the Internet, and you have to be really creative to have your voice heard and your film seen, but is that any worse than indie filmmakers struggling to get their movie distrib through traditional channels? Grass-roots efforts like the tremendous work the Red Doors team did to get their film seen after self-financing it are proving that indie filmmakers, with dedication and tenacity, can remain true to their visions while still getting their work out there.

Stop and think about what the world was like just 15 years ago, right before the Internet exploded into the beautiful mess we have before us today. Fifteen years ago, I didn't have an email address. Now, it's the primary way I communicate with contacts around the world. Fifteen years ago, my circle of contacts was much more limited by my physical proximity to them; today, I'd estimate 80% of my contact list in my Gmail account are people I've either never met in person, or see a couple times a year at film festivals. Fifteen years ago, no one had a blog -- now everyone and their mother does. Fifteen years ago, there was no ability to share video easily to millions of potential viewers. Now we're coming ever closer to digital downloads becoming a legitimate new model for distribution of film. Think about how your personal world has evolved since the Internet became prevalent; now consider how different the world of indie filmmaking and distribution will be 15 years hence.

Chime in here, filmmakers and those who want to be. What will the future of indie film distribution look like in 15 years?