Senior Film Critic, Dawn
Motion Picture/Television Consultant
Couldn't agree more with the comments above. I've had the pleasure of talking to Michael Barker when I was starting out (that was way back in the early 2000's), and most of what he said back then still applies. Of course back then ancillary windows - like internet and social media - weren't as big as they are now. So little has changed in the practice, except, now new filmmakers really don't have to have insiders in the business to make it (Vimeo, for example, does a better job of getting one's work through); not that connections don't help you out.
There is no doubt that theatrical releases are still the gold standard - especially in emerging markets that do not yet have other avenues for exhibition (like our country, for example). Hopefully, as things progress, this will also change.