Keith L. Craig is an inspirational military veteran who became an award-winning film distributor on a mission to amplify underrepresented voices in Hollywood. He is the founder and CEO of Porter + Craig Film and Media Distribution, where he develops partnerships across North America and globally while placing intentional emphasis on authentically highlighting female and minority filmmakers.
Craig served in the U.S. Army for 32 years, retiring with the rank of sergeant major. He then pivoted to the entertainment industry, becoming a distribution executive for Walt Disney Studios, Pixar, and Disney Animation Studios.
What led you to launch Porter + Craig Film and Media Distribution?
Back in 2018, I found myself at [an] Oscar party with Anthony Anderson and Tiffany Haddish, and a lot of other celebrities. It was at that time that Tiffany actually stood up and asked the host, “What are you guys doing for the independent filmmakers?” I was still employed at Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture. I was helping with Black Panther and Avengers, so I couldn’t really make a move because I wasn’t allowed to give a secret to the sauce from where I stood as a studio guy. At that time, a seed was planted inside of me … when I entered the studio life already having [had] a career in the military, and I wanted to become an advocate to the independent filmmakers and somehow provide a soft place to land for their film and intellectual properties. I found myself partnered up with my partner, who, like me, is all about the independent filmmaker and their plight, and making sure that we can somehow help them not go through the hardships that are common in that particular space.
What do you hope to accomplish for minority filmmakers who work with your firm?
I hope it inspires them to want to learn more about the business of the business, because it’s very important. People will offer you something, [and] if you don’t understand what you’re being offered, you won’t be able to have a sound counteroffer. It’s very important to learn more about the business of it, so that you’re able to get a bigger slice of the pie. I hope that they reach out to me and asked me questions about contracts that have been offered or how to make a counteroffer and proposal. If they win, we win. I want to show them that there was somebody behind the curtain at the studio that they never knew existed. It’s important to us to be an advocate and champion to the underserved community of [filmmakers] all across the world.