A film by an Oscar-winning filmmaker would normally garner plenty of attention from streaming services, which have used documentaries and niche movies to attract subscribers and earn awards. Instead, when Mr. Fogel’s film, “The Dissident,” was finally able to find a distributor after eight months, it was with an independent company that had no streaming platform and a much narrower reach.

“These global media companies are no longer just thinking, ‘How is this going to play for U.S. audiences?’” Mr. Fogel said. “They are asking: ‘What if I put this film out in Egypt? What happens if I release it in China, Russia, Pakistan, India?’ All these factors are coming into play, and it’s getting in the way of stories like this.”…

“What I observed was that the desire for corporate profits have left the integrity of America’s film culture weakened,” said Thor Halvorssen, the founder and chief executive of the nonprofit Human Rights Foundation, who financed the film and served as a producer.