“We owe a massive debt of gratitude to Kazz and his team at Sideways. From the first screening of Ten Dollar Death Trip: Inside The Fentanyl Crisis they bought into the film on an emotional level and had an energy and passion for getting it into the world, which potentially even surpassed ours as the filmmakers! Thanks to the work of Kazz and his team Ten Dollar Death Trip: Inside The Fentanyl Crisis has now licensed around the world and been viewed by millions through multiple networks across Europe, North America and APAC. From May 2022 the film will begin a seven year license period on Netflix.
Sideways are honestly a breath of fresh air in the documentary distribution sector. If they sign your project they will work tirelessly to ensure it is distributed as widely as possible. They are scrupulously honest, open and transparent in their dealings (rare), pay instantly (rarer), are known by the major commissioners and industry players and attend so many buyers’ markets and festivals (which, unlike many sales agents, they don’t bill for). We loved their model – they don’t look to add millions of titles to their slate, they only sign a handful, know them inside out and backwards and give 100% of themselves to selling them.
In a fast evolving medium, Sideways are at the forefront of viewer trends and as such are able to target a 360 distribution strategy; including linear, SVOD, inflight, theatrical and digital revenue share deals. With Ten Dollar this has been instrumental in giving the film longevity across different spaces and Sideways have left no stone unturned.
Most of all what sets Sideways apart in the distribution sector, is their soul and love of what they do. Because they care about film and film makers, they will go into bat for you, they will hustle for you, they will sweat blood for you and they will work harder than anyone else to get you the best outcomes. Signing Ten Dollar Death Trip: Inside The Fentanyl Crisis with them was one of the most important decisions we have taken as a production company.”
Dominic Streeter, Director, Ten Dollar Death Trip: Inside the Fentanyl Crisis
“Super-responsive, enthusiastic and energetic – Kazz has reliably secured a continuing stream of great broadcast sales for our film. Incredibly filmmaker friendly and hard working, he and the Sideways family are a beautifully unbureaucratic and straightforward sales team that engage deeply with each project – they can help strategise a film’s approach to market early on or just be trusted to produce revenues down the track”
Daniel Joyce, Producer, Martha: A Picture Story
“Kazz Basma and his team at Sideways believed in my film and took it onboard with exceptional passion and dedication. Kazz has closed deals with Netflix, and channels and partners in Sweden, Poland, Switzerland, Slovenia, Spain and Norway. Kazz is always prompt with payments and very quick and precise when answering emails or calls. There is a transparency and positive energy in the communication flow which is both comforting and inspiring. Meeting Kazz in person, as I did in Barcelona, is even more rewarding and fun. Thank you, Kazz – to be continued!”
Mikael Lypinski, Director & Producer, Desert Coffee
“Kazz and his team have been representing my tech-themed documentary Cryptopia since mid 2020. Actual sales have been coming in fast with deals in Australia, Poland, Norway, Hong Kong, Russia, Croatia, Israel, Slovenia, Czech Republic and with other broadcasters. Sideways Film have also managed to score a few placements at international film festivals and with streaming services. A recent highlight was a big deal with Al Jazeera English which took a lot of extra effort and patience. I always appreciate Kazz’s full transparency and efficiency. His quick turnaround times with any of my questions really help with my social media and marketing activities. I have trust in our partnership for the future and we are now developing the next production with Sideways Film at our side from the start.“
Torsten Hoffmann, CEO 3DCH Media, Producer/Director of Cryptopia: Bitcoin, Blockchains and The Future of the Internet
“From the get go, Kazz and his team at Sideways have been professional, approachable and flexible. Their contracts are short and clear and equitable. They know their catalogue and clients well, both sellers and buyers and so are quick to say if your film does not fit their remit. For us at Real to Reel Productions they have worked hard and generated revenues beyond expectations and paid more promptly than any distributor we have ever worked with.
With over our 35 years in documentary and factual production, we have engaged many distributors but unfortunately the majority falling way short of their promises, not just on returns but commitment to working hard on your behalf to get your film out into the world.
We have, and will continue, to highly recommend Sideways to friends and colleagues. Thank you Kazz.“
Anne Pick and Bill Spahic, Producers, No Limits
“Sideways Film have been persistent in getting our film out there, finding markets that we didn’t know existed! We have had the great pleasure of working with Kazz Basma who understands and cares about our film. He is readily accessible and has gone out of his way to answer questions, strategise, and resolve issues. Having a long-term, consistent commitment such as this is exactly what we hoped for.”
Maggie Stogner & Rick Stack, Director & Producer, In the Executioners Shadow
“From the moment I met Kazz at the Australian International Documentary Conference, I knew he was going to be our first choice for our feature length documentary, Dying To Live. He’s not only the kind of guy you’d like to do business with, he’s the guy you would invite into your living room, share a house with, share a holiday with and share some laughs with.
In over 20 years of Producing and Directing he is the first distributor I have not had to chase for ANYTHING. Sideways Film have reignited my faith in distribution. Due to the fact that our film is very domestic, Kazz cautioned that our expectations should be tempered. I explained that I didn’t have any expectations, as that would lead to disappointment. What I did have though, was complete confidence that Kazz and his team would give it 150% with regards to loving the film and pushing it where he thought it had a chance.
He got us a ROW deal and also sales in half a dozen territories. He is lightning fast with reports and a prompt payer. What a rarity. It’s such a pleasure doing business with Kazz and Sideways Film, and they will always be my first choice.”
Richard Todd (AKA Toddy), Director & Producer, Dying To Live
“Sideways Film is by far the best sales agency I have worked with. They love films and even better – they love filmmakers. I have worked with a number of sales agents through my career and there is no comparison to the attention that both I and my films get from Kazz and his team. If commissioning editors and broadcasters even like Kazz half as much as I do then the film is in good hands.
I love most of all how passionate they are about films and about social justice. Thanks to them, my film has played all over the world. Kazz is personal and gets back to me immediately. He is very transparent and sends updates with very thorough information. It is the first time since working with sales agencies that I feel they also are filmmakers and part of the team that made the film possible. It is very refreshing to have somebody who cares so much and inspires me to keep creating.“
Billie Mintz, Director, The Guardians and Jesus Town, USA
“Kazz and his team are an absolute pleasure to work with. Their passion for documentary combined with a deep network of international relationships has translated into the best experience I have ever had working with a sales company. Sideways Film operates with the utmost professionalism and transparency. I can’t recommend them enough to filmmakers looking for a sales team that is as effective as they are supportive.”
JB Sugar, Producer, The Guardians
“During my 20+ years of producing factual content, I’ve worked with half a dozen distributors with a range of positive and negative results. About a year ago my company had recently completed a one hour documentary for CBC called Body Language Decoded and a producer friend suggested I should talk to Sideways Film.
During my first meeting with Kazz I was impressed with his curated approach and only taking on those films that he felt were a good fit for his catalogue. He added our film to his catalogue and within the first year he’s made sales to nearly 20 territories around the world with more on the way. Sideways also has a policy of paying the producer when they receive payment from the broadcaster rather than waiting for six months or longer which is a refreshing approach. Based on our positive experience thus far, we’ve recently listed another film with Sideways and I would highly recommend them to anyone that’s looking for a top notch factual distributor.“
Edward Peill, Producer, Drag Kids, Body Language Decoded and The Power of Play
“Before working with Sideways, I had no experience with distributors, as all sales and festivals were managed through the public broadcaster I work for. Working with Kazz and Juan, has been a rewarding experience, first of all because of their enthusiasm for my film – the fact that they are selective seems to have this positive and stimulating effect. I felt I was not just working with people who wanted to sell my film, but with people who really liked to watch it. And second: they know how to sell and came back with clients abroad I had never even heard off.“
Stef Biehmans, Director, Bad Hombres, Americanos and Crossing the Andes
“Sideways Film has been an excellent partner in distributing my latest documentary -The Price of Fairness. We achieved a wide range of sales with major channels as well as Netflix, and educational distribution. Kazz Basma reflects the company’s core values – professionalism, integrity, fairness and transparency. I like these values and I think this is reflected in the choice of films and filmmakers he works with.“
Alex Gabbay, Producer, Beyond Men and Masculinity, and The Price of Fairness
“During my 45 years as a documentary filmmaker, I rarely encountered a distributor who cares much about us poor peons since there is usually not much money to be made with us. Kazz Basma is a sterling exception. He is always available and finds time quickly if you need to talk to him. He is also one smart and innovative businessman. I wish he had been around earlier in my career and I can not recommend him highly enough to young filmmakers”
John Zaritsky, Academy Award winning Director, No Limits
“I have worked with 8 different TV and film distributors over the years. Many talk a good game, but when it comes to reporting back or actually pushing your film internationally, they seem to fall into a vortex never to be heard from again. When I first met Kazz Basma (at Sunnyside of the Doc) I was instantly intrigued with Sideway’s boutique model. I gave them a try on my film “Rise of the Trolls”. It was the best decision I have made . They have sold territories I have never even heard of, and lots of them. Best of all, the reporting and payment schedules has been unmatched in the doc world. If Kazz likes your film and says it is a fit in his catalogue – believe him. You won’t regret it.”
Paul Kemp, Producer, The Rise of Jordan Peterson and Rise of the Trolls
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my relationship with Sideways Film. Kazz was kind and generous when he first screened Inside Her Sex and has since championed the film. He has been professional, fair & transparent. He is great at communicating and responds quickly to requests & ideas. I can, without hesitation, recommend engaging with this company and the people in it – a breath of fresh air.”
Sheona McDonald, Director, Inside Her Sex
“Working with Sideways Film has been an absolutely wonderful experience. The experience Kazz and his team bring to the table put my mind at ease, knowing my film is in good hands. They are responsive, professional and their knowledge of distribution models and markets are unlike anything I have experienced in over a decade in the business. I would highly recommend Sideways Film for any film distribution endeavours!“
Matt Edde, Producer, Facing the Fat
“Kazz and his team at Sideways Film are the real deal. I’ve worked with a variety of distribution companies and sales agents, and Sideways is the best of the bunch. I don’t understand how Kazz is so accessible at all hours of the day and night. It’s superhuman, as is his enthusiasm for spreading our film and his dedication to negotiating the best distribution deals for us. The filmmaking business needs more honest, hard-working, and caring people like him working in it.”
Brock La Borde, Producer, 91%: A Film About Guns in America
“We’ve been beyond happy with the deals Kazz and his team have brought to the table. They are always working – going to film festivals, buyers markets and answering emails and phone calls from multiple time zones in a short amount of time. Sideways’ passion for documentaries is evident and that definitely translates into an amazing library of titles that we’re happy to be part of”
Tricia Todd, Producer, End of Truth and Killing the Messenger: The Deadly Cost of News
“Working with Kazz and Sideways Film has been a pleasant and helpful experience from the start. For a film that feels very US-focused, Sideways has distributed to territories far beyond our expectations. We are so pleased to work with such a thoughtful and strategic sales agent who produces good results, and feels like a real advocate for us. I can’t recommend Sideways enough.“
Cynthia Hill, Director, Private Violence
“We’ve had such a great experience with Kazz and Sideways Film, their level of commitment and communication was just excellent. The sheer volume of deals and their ability to place the film with broadcasters across the globe was a huge addition to our path to success. I have no doubt that without Kazz and all his hard work we couldn’t have reached our sales goal. Sideways simply delivers.“
Brant Pindivic, Director, Why I’m Not On Facebook
“I can’t say enough good things about Sideways Film, not just as a distributor but as a partner. Thanks to their continuing efforts our film has reached a global audience and has been licensed in major markets on nearly every continent. Although their library is deep I’ve never felt lost in the shuffle or ignored. If I email with a query I receive a prompt response — which is not always the case with distributors. Without hesitation I can say that Kazz and the rest of the Sideways Film team are a class act and have been instrumental in steering our film to success and profitability.”
Dominic White, Director, DSKNECTD: Is Technology Changing Us?
“My experience with Sideways Film has been positive. Kazz is professional and thorough, and royalty payments are always paid promptly. Sideways Film are a pleasure to deal with.”
Tim Delmastro, Director, Freedom From Choice & End of the Road
“I had the great pleasure of meeting and hanging out with Kazz at the Thessaloniki film festival. Happily he offered to take on our film “Who Took Johnny”- and very rapidly made a series of international sales for it (this is a film that we had tremendous difficulty getting traction with even after John Waters put it on his top ten list for the year). I’ve been making films for 20 years and I can count on 2 fingers the number of distributors who have told me that they will do something- and then have them do it. Kazz isn’t one of them but… oh c’mon – of course he is- he’s been wonderful- and I would work with him again in a heartbeat.”
Michael Galinsky, Director, Who Took Johnny
“Thanks to Kazz and his team our documentary received an audience in 18 territories. Kazz was invested in it throughout the production in terms of creative feedback and making sure we had all the elements needed to be able to sell it successfully. Sideways are an agency that are passionate about film and assisting film makers in the process. We are very happy we collaborated with them.”
Nathan Erasmus, Director, Road to Rio
“Kazz and his team have been such a gift for my documentary film, Fatherland. They have managed to get it sold across the world, which is more than we had hoped for. But it is the way Kazz runs his company that is so amazing! He is always available by email and replies to all my ridiculous questions. There is a constant line of communication, which can be rare to find with a sales agency. You definitely never feel like your film is just 1 of a 100 in someone’s catalogue. I am busy on my next feature and I will be showing to Sideways Film first.”
Tarryn Crossman, Director, Timelines and Fatherland
“Sideways Film take risks many do not. As an independent filmmaker, weary of the commercial world, I know I can trust the Sideway’s team and their expertise in spreading socially important creative works.”
Peter Joseph, Director, Zeitgeist: The Movie, Zeitgeist: Addendum and Zeitgeist: Moving Forward
“I have always felt Kazz’s personal interest, investment and care in the success of my highly controversial film, Red Reign. I deeply appreciate having someone to heroically champion the film by getting it out to the world’s people, who are otherwise victim’s of censorship.”
Masha Savitz, Director, Red Reign
“Sideways do an amazing job promoting and selling my documentary “Twilight of the Yakuza” around the world. Thanks to Sideways, my doc has made the rounds across the globe and has been seen by millions, something I would have never dreamed of when I made this doc as an independent filmmaker. I really appreciate what Sideways has done so far for my doc and I’m glad to be working together with such a professional and enthusiastic team.”
Sebastian Stein, Director, Twilight of the Yakuza
“As self‐taught independent filmmakers, with no access to industry channels, funding or contacts, distribution can often resemble the confine of an elite group of apparatchiks. Not So with Kazz Basma And Sideways Film who have an eye for the innovative and creative, and do not shy away from politically sensitive, provocative and controversial material.
Sideways Film offer us a flexible and personal approach, unique in the world of film distribution. Distribution provides access to international markets and the necessary funds for future projects. Something which in the current political climate in the UK, is not easy to come by for independent documentarians specializing in challenging and politically sensitive films. We are delighted to have Sideways Film distributing our documentaries.”
Michael Oswald, Director, The Spiders Web, 97% Owned & Princes of the Yen
“I would highly recommend Kazz and Sideways Films. We have been very happy with their representation of our film “Beyond Pollution”. Kazz has great industry contacts and relationships, always replies in a timely and receptive fashion to our questions and concerns, and his expenses are truly low.
You can tell he genuinely cares about his filmmakers and their films. My only regret is that we didn’t sign with Sideways Film much, much sooner.”
Harper Robinson, Director, Beyond Pollution
“Excellent representation. Sideways Film have a thorough grasp of the global documentary market and adopt a strategic approach to sales combined with a thoughtful, creative and diligent approach.
Having someone represent your film is a massive undertaking of trust and Sideways Film really seem to understand and appreciate the nature of our film – a pleasure to work with!”
Nick Oakley, Director, Cult Witness
“This is my third film and I was wary of sales agents and distributors so I did a lot of research and took my time looking for a good fit for our film. Luckily, we hooked up with Sideways and it’s been worth it - we’re a small, non-profit film collective based in Peru, so we don’t have a lot of access to international broadcasters. In the past, our films have done well at festivals and in educational distribution, but we’ve never managed to break the television barrier and get picked up by numerous stations.
Through Sideways, the film so far has been sold to: TeleSur, TV3 Catalunya, Al Jazeera, Russia Today, AYAT TV, Press TV, Film Media Group, GAIAM and a sale to a RTV Slovenia is coming through as well…
Sideways encouraged us to get involved with our distribution and I feel the process has been a collaborative one – they followed up with our suggestions for broadcasters, were flexible with the writing of our contract and incorporated updates on the cases featured in the film into their strategy with broadcasters.
Kazz’s negotiation skills are so much better than our own, that he was even able to get better deals out of the few broadcasters that we had relationships with in the past. So, even subtracting their sales agent fee, we were further ahead … and were able to get on with our film-making while Kazz took care of the negotiations and business side.
And Kazz is just a really nice person who actually cares about the films he represents and the issues they convey. When the protagonist of our film (a Peruvian priest) was beaten and tortured by police this year, I sent Kazz an update to send to broadcasters, and he wrote back very concerned, asking how he could help. Unfortunately, you don’t seem to find that kind of human compassion in very many sales agents out there today.”
Stephanie Boyd, Director, The Devil Operation
“When shopping around for a sales agent we either ran into Hollywood scheisters demanding huge upfront fees or agents who talked a good game but weren’t easy to reach. Then we found Kazz Basma at Sideways Film. Kazz runs a transparent business, charges commissions only if he makes a sale, and is great about getting back to people. His enthusiasm for the films he represents manifests itself through real sales and real money. I have been very satisfied working with Sideways Film.”
Jesse Veverka, Director, China: The Rebirth of an Empire
“I’ve known Kazz Basma since his days in acquisitions at Mercury Media in 2008. He and his company, Sideways Film, have been instrumental in helping us to distribute our film to foreign broadcast entities. His knowledge of the business, directory of contacts, passion for our project and timeliness in handling our inquiries, set him apart from other sales agents who come across as “all talk” and “no action.” The deals he’s negotiated for us have all been handled with the utmost professionalism. I challenge you to find another agent that works this hard and cares more about what he does, than Kazz. He’s truly one of a kind!”
Jeff Warrick, Director, Programming the Nation
“Sideways film has been a great addition to The Shark Con. Distribution in the documentary world is a tough market and Kazz and the team have really surpassed our expectations! If your doc needs to get out there, sign with Sideways.”
Steven Pavon, Producer, The Shark Con
“Sideways Film has been instrumental in helping us gain awareness for our film as well as internationally distributing it. The communication with Kazz and company has been spectacular, they’ve kept us in the know every step of the way. I don’t believe we would have found the same success without Sideways Film!”
Rusty Armstrong, Director, The Shark Con
“An agency that really makes a difference”
Jan-Willem Breure, Director, Are All Men Pedophiles?
“Kazz Basma with Sideways Film has demonstrated to us he knows how to work with filmmakers. His knowledge and sage advice were invaluable in bringing our film to market.”
Jerry Misner, Director, Southern Exposure