How to Sell a Documentary to Netflix?

How to sell a documentary to Netflix?

Are you an independent filmmaker with a passion for telling stories through documentary films? Maybe you’ve been trying to figure out the best way to get your film seen by the largest possible audience. If this is the case, then you may want to consider selling your documentary to Netflix. In this article, we’ll provide some tips and strategies on how to sell a documentary to Netflix and help ensure that your film reaches as many people as possible.

Benefits of Selling to Netflix:

Selling a documentary to Netflix can be a great way to get your work seen by large and engaged audiences. With Netflix’s massive subscriber base of over 203 million subscribers, filmmakers have access to an audience they would not have had before.

In addition to the wide reach of Netflix, producers also benefit from the financial stability that this platform offers. Selling a documentary to Netflix may mean receiving more money than other platforms would offer as well as having fewer restrictions on content than traditional broadcasting networks.

Not only is selling a documentary to Netflix beneficial for producers monetarily, but it can also be helpful for increasing one’s reputation in the industry. Having one’s work available on such a prominent streaming service gives filmmakers credibility and visibility which can help them secure future deals with other production companies or investors.

Also read – How much does Amazon pay for Documentaries?

Researching What Netflix Buys:

Selling a documentary to Netflix can be a difficult undertaking. It takes perseverance, research, and a knowledge of the market. The first step is to become familiar with what Netflix buys and how they go about selecting content. Knowing this will help you determine if your documentary fits their criteria and whether or not it will fit in their library.

Researching what Netflix buys requires more than just looking at what is currently on their platform; you need to dig deeper into the trends in the industry. This could include reading articles from film critics, conducting interviews with filmmakers who have sold work to them, or simply keeping an eye on new releases that are being added to their roster.

Once you know where your film stands among these trends then you can adjust your pitch accordingly for maximum potential success when submitting your video for consideration by Netflix.

Also read – How much does Netflix pay for scripts?

Crafting Your Pitch:

Crafting a successful pitch for any project is essential, and when it comes to pitching a documentary to Netflix, it’s especially important. Pitching your documentary and making your argument about why this story needs to be told can help you land the deal with Netflix.

There are several key components that make up an effective pitch. First, you need a clear understanding of your concept or story idea and why it’s relevant. You also need an outline of how the film will unfold, including potential interviewees who can speak on the subject at hand.

Additionally, having visual elements like storyboards or concept drawings will help illustrate your vision and showcase what makes this story unique. It’s also essential to have an engaging trailer as well as other marketing materials like posters or social media campaigns that demonstrate how you would promote the documentary if it were accepted by Netflix.

Also read – How much does netflix pay for independent films?

Making the Offer to sell a Documentary to Netflix.

When it comes to making the offer to sell a Documentary to Netflix, the process is lengthy and relatively involved. Firstly, you should make sure that your content is up to professional standards and meets all of the requirements that are set by Netflix.

This includes ensuring that your documentary has a concise storyline and looks as polished as possible. Additionally, it’s important to create an appealing package for potential buyers; this should include sending a detailed proposal outlining what your project can bring them, along with marketing materials such as trailers or clips from the movie itself.

Once these steps have been taken care of, it’s important to research who within Netflix may be interested in buying your documentary and then reach out in order to negotiate its purchase.

Also read – How much does Netflix pay for documentaries?

Creating a Documentary Trailer:

Creating a documentary trailer is an important part of how to sell a documentary to Netflix. This is because the trailer will be presented in front of potential buyers and give them an idea of what the film is all about. In order to create an effective trailer, one needs to select specific scenes from the project and use them in strategic ways.

These scenes should be chosen carefully as they are what will capture people’s attention and make them interested in watching your documentary. Additionally, the editing of these scenes should follow certain guidelines that fit with Netflix’s own aesthetic standards while still being creative enough to excite viewers.

Music also plays a key role in a successful trailer; choose music that complements the visuals and helps tell your story without overpowering it or distracting from its core message.

Reaching Out to Netflix:

Reaching out to Netflix can be a daunting prospect for a documentary filmmaker. After all, the streaming giant is known for producing and acquiring top-notch content from some of the world’s best filmmakers. However, selling your documentary to Netflix does not have to be as difficult as it may seem. Here are some tips for reaching out and making your pitch successful.

The first step is to make sure you have an excellent film that stands apart from other documentaries in its genre. This requires researching what type of films Netflix typically acquires and what their target audience looks like so you can tailor the style, topic, and message of your documentary accordingly. Secondly, having a strong social media presence with engaging videos or pictures related to your work can help attract attention—so promote yourself on various platforms!

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Maintaining Professionalism:

Maintaining professionalism is essential for any entrepreneur or professional striving to succeed in their respective field. As a documentary filmmaker, understanding how to sell your documentary to Netflix is an important aspect of maintaining professional success.

To ensure that you’re keeping up with the highest standards of professionalism, there are several tips that you can follow. First and foremost, it’s important to perfect your proposal before submitting it to Netflix.

This means ensuring that all information is accurate and comprehensive, including the synopsis, production budget and planned distribution strategies as well as clearly articulating a unique vision for your project.

Additionally, make sure that you’re using a direct approach when contacting Netflix representatives; reach out via email or phone and be both polite and confident in the presentation of yourself and your work.

Negotiating & Finalizing Agreement.

Negotiating and finalizing an agreement to sell a documentary to Netflix can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right knowledge and preparation, navigating the process successfully is achievable.

To begin, research is essential. It pays off to understand how Netflix acquires content and what kinds of documentaries they typically purchase. Additionally, familiarize oneself with the basic terms in contracts and how licensing works. With these basics under one’s belt, it will become easier to comprehend the negotiation process ahead.

The second step is putting together an impressive sales pitch for your documentary that will capture the attention of Netflix executives. This includes providing top-notch materials such as trailers or clips from the film along with detailed information about genres, audience demographics and more.

Also read – Film marketing plan – THE ULTIMATE GUIDE.

Promoting Your Documentary.

If you have made a documentary film and are interested in selling it to Netflix, there are several steps that can help make this process easier. First, research what type of documentaries the streaming service typically buys. This can help you identify any elements that should be included in your project or avoid any subjects or topics that do not fit with their current programming focus.

Next, create a sizzle reel, which is a concise version of your documentary; this should contain the very best content from the full-length film. Thirdly, connect with producers who already have contacts at Netflix and try to get them to put in a good word for you. Finally, contact Netflix directly and provide them with detailed information about your project such as its synopsis and the sizzle reel.


The conclusion of how to sell a documentary to Netflix involves several steps. The first step is to build up your network and make sure you have the right contacts with industry professionals in order to get your project seen by the right people.

The second step is honing your sales pitch and creating a well-crafted, compelling package for Netflix that includes all the necessary elements such as a logline, synopsis, budget, marketing plan, and other relevant information. Finally, it’s important to actively seek out feedback from those in the industry who can offer valuable insight into what works best for selling a documentary on Netflix.

With these three steps in place – building relationships; crafting an effective sales pitch; seeking feedback – filmmakers should have no trouble successfully pitching their documentaries to Netflix and potentially getting their projects picked up.


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