First read what Anthony Kaufman has to say about competition for indie-film distributors. It's a good article and it has some valid points.
It's at the Village Voice's web site here.
Then go to Reeler editor S.T. VanAirsdale's response.
Both have great points, and I will be the first to agree that in the past two years it has become frustratingly difficult to get ones film seen. There is so much product out there. Good and bad, and that's the problem.
It kind of reminds me of when porno went video or when B-movies were all the rage, during the VCR revolution in the 80's. Their was a glut of BAD films in both genres, and distributors flooded the market with inferior product. When distributors began selling their tapes for $5 and began running their films in EP mode instead of the preferred SP speed the quality of the product sank. All to save on the cost of a cassette. Good B-type thrillers & artful films that were created in the late 70's and early 80's soon devolved into video crap. Eventually those movies found themselves in the bargain bin at several discount stores.
Now comes the "new" art crowd with their lattes and over priced fruity drinks and the cycle begins again. What's hip and what's not.
The common equalizer may just be the digital download. I mean if I could download a film for under four dollars maybe the power of distribution will revert back to the audience where it truly belongs and not the eclectic distributors who only service the snobbish elite.