Kino Lorber announces its support for a new distribution initiative from Dedza Films that will showcase short films by young emerging talent

Kino Lorber announces its support for a new distribution initiative from
Dedza Films that will showcase short films by young emerging talent

Digital platform Kino Now will release new short films solicited and curated by Dedza Films in a first project for Kino Lorber’s newly created industry diversity incubator


(New York, NY -- October 9, 2020) -- Kino Lorber announced today its support of a new distribution initiative that will showcase short films by emerging talent, aimed at fostering and mentoring young filmmakers including college-aged students. Kino Lorber will provide mentorship and material support to Dedza Films, a new student-led distribution company. Created in April 2020 in the wake of COVID, Dedza Films is the brainchild of filmmaker, programmer and former Kino Lorber theatrical assistant Kate Gondwe. Named after a village in Malawi, Africa where Gondwe shot her first short film about a child’s dreams in a developing nation, the new company’s mission is to foster diversity, build community and cultivate the next wave of young filmmakers. Kino Lorber looks forward to serving as an incubator for additional such emerging and independent initiatives in the coming years.

Kino Lorber’s team will consult with the Dedza Films team in areas of programming, marketing, publicity, packaging, and distribution in the digital and home video space. Both teams’ collective goals are to help break down existing barriers to entry into the film industry, provide young filmmakers and industry professionals access to resources and expertise, and create a platform for short films to be released, viewed and supported. The team seeks unique new voices, particularly those that align with arthouse, low budget, experimental approaches from U.S. and non-U.S. filmmakers.

In its collaboration with Dedza Films, Kino Lorber will release on its Kino Now digital platform 8 to 10 short films submitted by high school and college-aged filmmakers.. The shorts will be chosen from submissions to a team of curators recruited and led by Gondwe. A compilation DVD will be produced and distributed at the end of the first year. In addition, Kino Lorber and Dedza will jointly organize a series of virtual panels, talks and workshops that will be open to all, and provide mentorship in the areas of distribution, communications, and film journalism.

Dedza Films founder Kate Gondwe says, "I believe our existence is a step at long term change. I'm excited to work with Kino Lorber to provide support for the next wave of cinema. As a young filmmaker myself, I know the importance of early work being supported and shown. Due to COVID-19, our industry is on pause and has no excuse to not address the problems we face with innovative solutions. We believe that Dedza Films will provide the curation, community, and create the future my generation deserves. Dedza Films is a chance to change the independent space and I thank Kino Lorber for reimagining with us."

Kino Lorber SVP Wendy Lidell said, “Black, Indigenous and People of Color have too long faced inequitable barriers to entry into the entertainment industry. We at Kino Lorber hope that our incubator initiative will assist its participants to overcome those barriers and make a small contribution to the industry’s long overdue need to diversify its ranks. We have known Kate since her college internship with us. We were deeply impressed by her passion and professionalism and couldn’t be more proud than to work with her new company, Dedza Films, and support its mission to support diverse storytelling, and to find and elevate the next generation of talent.”

Submission details for college-aged students and emerging filmmakers and more information can be found at

Kate Gondwe / Dedza Films:
Kate Gondwe is a Malawian-American student filmmaker from Kansas. Her short films have screened at regional festivals across the country. As she moves her career to further work on the business side of cinema, Kate wants to focus on supporting the independent and early work gems from her generation. She is inspired by the filmmakers that always gave back to their community such as Varda, Mekas, Sembène, and Scorsese.

Kino Lorber:
With a library of over 4,000 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for 35 years, releasing 30 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Repertory and Alive Mind Cinema banners, garnering seven Academy Award® nominations in nine years. In addition, the company brings over 350 titles yearly to the home entertainment and educational markets through physical and digital media releases. With an expanding family of distributed labels, Kino Lorber handles releases in ancillary media for Zeitgeist Films, Carlotta USA, Adopt Films, Greenwich Entertainment, Raro Video, and others, placing physical titles through all wholesale, retail, and direct to consumer channels, as well as direct digital distribution through over 40 OTT services including all major TVOD and SVOD platforms. In 2019, the company launched its new art house digital channel Kino Now which features over 1000 titles from the acclaimed Kino Lorber library. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kino Marquee initiative was launched in 2020 pioneering "virtual theatrical" releases of art house films with revenue shares that allows audiences to support almost 400 local independent theaters.