Cow Lamp Films shares insight at Chicago Indie Film Fest

Burt Young in "King Rat," a recent Cow Lamp acquisition

Burt Young in “King Rat,” a recent Cow Lamp acquisition

Cow Lamp Films will continue to earn its keep as the Midwest’s only distributor of independent films on Saturday afternoon at the Chicago Independent Film (+TV) Festival (CIFF).

Director of Acquisitions Josh da Silva will join a 4 p.m. panel discussion about distribution at the New 400 Movie Theaters in Rogers Park, where a majority of CIFF films will be screened.

“Cow Lamp is a full service distribution company,” he explains. “We are committed to helping filmmakers gain the widest audience and, hopefully, earn the greatest compensation available.”

Josh da Silva
Josh da Silva

One of the ways that the company stays current with films coming out of the area is by attending events like this weekend’s festival.

According to da Silva, the CIFF lineup will not only help him pursue his professional mission, but it will also provide great viewing for anyone who attends. This is largely due to the finesse of the event’s programmers.

“Brent Kado (who founded CIFF) and Jessica Hardy (who founded the Chicago Comedy Film Festival) have excellent taste,” he says. “And the free Lagunitas beer, that’s not a bad thing.”

Since arriving in the Windy City last October, Cow Lamp has acquired the rights to more than a dozen films, including five that were signed within the past several weeks: Skeletons in the Closet, King Rat, Dear Coward on the Moon, The Glass House, and Love in Moreno Valley.

After picking up a film, Cow Lamp works hard to put it on an exponentially growing number of screens.

“We have three new releases on cable on demand — Louder than Words, Manlife, and Empty Space — with Comcast, Xfinity, Charter, Spectrum, and Cox,” says da Silva. “Also, available on Amazon and Vimeo-on-Demand are Hallways of Hope, Welcome to Unity, Hidden, and Festival: A Documentary.”

The company is also in the process of rolling out several films on iTunes, DirectTV, and Dish Network.

Since Cow Lamp Films is a division of Questar Entertainment — a 32-year-old company with more than 5,000 titles and 100 original programs — da Silva has more than enough corporate resources to do a thorough job, but he is also a filmmaker who has experienced the process first-hand.

His feature documentary about the impact of art, theater, and improv on inner city Chicago youth, Something Out Of Nothing, earned Best Filmmaker at the 2017 Chicago Comedy Film Festival.

Contact da Silva at