Todd Brown

Season 2 | Episode 10
50m | Feb 6, 2024

Almost as soon as I finished watching Zarrar Kahn's film IN FLAMES, I emailed Todd Brown, head of international acquisitions at XYZ Films, asking: how did you find this gem of a film? In this episode, Todd tells me.

The discussion is wide-ranging, all-encompassing, and fun. When we finished taping, I felt like I knew so many things about how independent film works that I never knew before. Todd answers every question about film production and distribution with authority, knowledge, and clarity.

In this episode, Todd and I talk about:

  • how he got started in filmmaking;
  • how film festivals can be a proving ground of sorts to showcase your ability as a film executive;
  • the success going from old horror film blogs to filmmaking because they know how "stories are supposed to work" and an "understanding of market forces";
  • is he genre specific or does he have a wide range of tastes in film?;
  • what questions is he asking when he reads a script?;
  • his feelings about the state of independent film;
  • the brilliance of the film TALK TO ME;
  • his thoughts on film school;
  • how XYZ takes on new directors, and the difference between the United States and pretty much everywhere else on that;
  • DON'T MORTGAGE YOUR HOME TO FUND YOUR FILM -- really, it needs to be in caps, Todd says;
  • his view on the international markets, calling Gen Z the most global generation ever -- "the subtitle barrier does not exist for them";
  • does he want people to know it is an "XYZ film" or genre-agnostic?
  • the beauty of IN FLAMES, which premiered at Cannes as the debut title for New Visions, XYZ's new label for microbudget horror films by emerging directors;
  • how the firm nurtures new directors;
  • what's next for this visionary film and production company.

Todd's Indie Film Highlight: FROM BEYOND, dir. by Fredrik S. Hana (


XYZ Films (

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