DER is a leading educational distributor and the only organization to specialize in ethnographic and anthropological films.  Our collection includes seminal works in the history of ethnographic filmmaking, vérité and personal documentary, and other forms of experimental and non-fiction filmmaking, and films profiling contemporary artists around the world. DER films are well-known and respected in education and art circles.

We maintain a carefully curated collection and seek out films that reflect deep cultural knowledge, whether through research or the close collaboration of filmmaker and subjects, in their exploration of diverse cultural practices, beliefs, and forms of expression, and those that offer insights into the processes underlying social and cultural continuity and change. We are particularly interested in films that portray underrepresented voices or offer insight into unexplored areas of human cultural experiences. We look for films that are in dialogue with anthropology, visual anthropology, cultural studies or related subject areas.

The core audience for our distribution program includes colleges and universities, K-12 classrooms, museums, libraries, community organizations and other educational groups. We serve institutions in every state in the USA and around the globe. Our films are of interest, as well, to individuals looking for a visual historical record of their communities, and to those interested in thought documentation of spiritual, artisanal and material traditions. We are committed to ensuring easy access to our films, and make them available on DVD and other physical media, and through a variety of streaming options targeted alternately to educational or home audiences.

DER offers individually-tailored distribution plans to ensure each film’s visibility and accessibility to both educational and home audiences. Our staff brings extensive in-house expertise to the plan for each film, including well-honed strategies for marketing and outreach, extensive technical services for mastering physical media and digital files, and quality design services. We work closely with filmmakers to ensure that their films reach the right audience and are presented in a way that reflects the film’s subject matter and artistry.


If you are interested in having your film distributed through DER, please apply by filling out our film submission form. If you have questions, you may contact us at submissions@der.org.

Sub-Distribution opportunities 

DER sometimes works with organizations or companies in a sub-distribution context, wherein DER’s films may be purchased at the Institutional price for an agreed-upon discount and then resold to libraries, schools, consumers, etc. DER must give written permission for an entity to act as a sub-distributor. For inquiries about sub-distribution, please contact .