At Sundance, some new thinking about distribution

I was really encouraged to see this piece in the New York Times today, ‘At Sundance, New Routes to Finding an Audience,’ Brooks Barnes. It suggests that at least a few filmmakers who’ve gained entrance to one of the most prestigious indie film fests are thinking about using it as a launchpad for their distribution strategy.

From the piece:

    “We just want to encourage people to throw the traditional model out the window,” said Michael Mohan, the writer-director of “One Too Many Mornings,” a coming-of-age comedy that had its premiere here on Friday.

    Simultaneously, Mr. Mohan let users at download the movie for $10 and started selling DVDs for $20. For $35, customers get a DVD, a poster and a piece of the sofa featured in the film. Mr. Mohan is also selling the theatrical rights via the Web site for $100,000. “Forget a bidding war,” he said. “Whoever gets to their laptop the fastest gets it.”

    YouTube introduced its long-awaited movie rental option at this year’s festival by offering five Sundance films as soon as they had their premieres. The rentals — including “One Too Many Mornings” and “Bass Ackwards,” another film that bypassed the theatrical window — will cost $3.99.

    And for the first time, Sundance will make films available in about 40 million homes through cable and satellite on-demand services simultaneously with premieres. The program, Sundance Selects, includes “Daddy Longlegs,” about being torn between adulthood and childhood.

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