This collection of essays explores the complex issue of film distribution from the invention of cinema into the 1910s. From regional distribution networks to international marketing strategies, from the analysis of distribution catalogues to case studies on individual distributors these essays written by well-known specialists in the field discuss the intriguing question of how films came to meet their audiences. As these essays show, distribution is in fact a major force structuring the field in which cinema emerges in the late 19th and early 20th century, a phenomenon with many facets and many dimensions having an impact on production and exhibition, on offer and demand, on film form as well as on film viewing. A phenomenon that continues to play a central role for early films even today, as digital media, the DVD as well as the internet, are but the latest channels of distribution through which they come to us. Among the authors are Richard Abel, Andre Gaudreault, Viva Paci, Gregory Waller, Wanda Strauven, Martin Loiperdinger, Joseph Garncarz, Charlie Keil, Marta Braun, and Francois Jost.
Frank Kessler is Professor of Film History at Utrecht University and one of the founders and editors of KINtop: Jahrbuch zur Erforschung des fruhen Films. He is the president of Domitor, an international association for research on early cinema. Nanna Verhoeff is Assistant Professor in the Department for Media and Culture Studies at Utrecht University, the Netherlands. She is author of The West in Early Cinema: After the Beginning.