British Council Creative Economy

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17 November 2013

60 seconds with Peter Gerrard

Multi-award winning film producer and director Peter Gerrard is CEO of Distrify, a film marketing and distribution toolset to help filmmakers grow their audiences and create sustainable long-term careers. Peter is one of our UK Creative Entrepreneur winners and will be travelling to Nigeria in 2014 to connect with creative entrepreneurs there and share ideas.

© Darren Gerrish

Peter Gerrard will be travelling to Nigeria to make international connections

Why is the UK a great place to be an entrepreneur?

One of the things that’s been really great for us over the years is the public support for the arts. Where I grew up in the states there’s no public funding for the arts and I think that people here are very fortunate to have a government that wants people to have an opportunity to express themselves, and in different ways from the mainstream. The BBC for example is such an amazing thing; to have a broadcast organisation which is separated from politics in a way, but also from financial markets.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by a whole range of people. Lately I’ve been inspired by people who are influencing the way we do business. For example, Nigerians have this amazing ability to promote their work and make lots of films all the time. It’s amazing and I love it. And similarly we have been working in India were they have pioneered new business models and news ways to work in the community. In the UK I’m inspired by the great documentary makers, going back to the founders, like Grierson, and more recent film-makers like Marc Isaacs, Nick Broomfield and people who are working today who are really talented and expressing themselves in really interesting ways. As a film-maker I always followed the works of documentary makers from Britain which has a very strong tradition.

What will going to Nigeria do for your business?

I spent quite a bit of time in Ghana, which is close to Nigeria but it's very different from my understanding, so I’m very intrigued to see the country and the people. But primarily I’m looking forward to meeting these film-makers who we’ve worked with over the last couple of years and talking to them about how we can help them move forward. I’ve been told by some Nigerians that people use our service because it works for them now, but if something better or cheaper comes along they’ll move without hesitation. I hope we can work together to continue making sure Distrify is the best for their needs as filmmakers.

Keep up to date with Peter on twitter at@distrify