Category Archives: distribution

Netflix Takes Over Distribution for Martin Scorsese’s ‘The Irishman’

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Rachel Lutack

The world of film distribution is truly changing with the news that the streaming service Netflix will be taking worldwide rights to Martin Scorceses’s gangster film The Irishman. Typically a studio big-hitter, the Scorsese-Robert De Niro $100 million re-team was under the umbrella of Paramount Picture – the company has an overall feature deal with the director running through 2019. Indiewire reports that the studio was not prepared to take the huge risk that this film would require, however.

The Irishman will star De Niro as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a hitman for the mob who was rumored to be involved in the death of Jimmy Hoffa. The screenplay was adapted by Steve Zaillian from Charles Brandt’s book I Heard You Paint Houses. Part of the risk of Scorsese’s film (aside from the $100 million budget) is that he plans to use special effects to turn De Niro back into a 30-year-old man. Al Pacino may also be going through the treatment for the film, although his involvement is still in negotiations.

Paramount was originally handling North American distribution with STX Entertainment with taking over foreign rights after a $50 million deal at Cannes last year. Despite the great ambition of the project, Scorsese is known for turning out massive numbers at the box office, with The Wolf of Wall Street bringing in $392 million globally.

Now that Netflix has taken over, that will likely mean STX is out as well. The newly minted distributors plan to release the film in 2019, with a limited theatrical release prior to that for an Oscar push. When all is said and done, the freedom of a platform like Netflix may be just what Scorsese needs to make his vision a reality.

(Source: mxdwn.com)

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GLOBALGATE EXPANDS ITS WORLDWIDE REACH

Posted by Larry Gleeson

News provided by Lionsgate

Brazil’s Paris Filmes and Colombia’s Cine Colombia Join the Consortium

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Feb. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Globalgate Entertainment, the local-language film production and financing venture aligned with Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), has added Brazil’s Paris Filmes and Colombia’s Cine Colombia to its now 11-strong, worldwide consortium of production and distribution partners, the company announced today. The consortium already includes Televisa, Gaumont, Nordisk, Kadokawa, Lotte, Tobis, TME and Belga.

Paris Filmes, founded 57 years ago, is the number-one Brazilian distributor of local-language films with an 81% market share, and it is also a leading Brazilian distributor of English-language films including those of Lionsgate. In addition, the company is a strong home entertainment distributor of premium content in DVD, blu-ray and digital platforms. Paris Filmes’ recent Brazilian hits include Os Dez Mandamentos, Loucas pra Casar, Minha Mae e uma Peca and Meu Passado me Condena 1 & 2.  

Cine Colombia is the number-one distributor in Colombia with a 46% market share, where it distributes major-studio, independent and local-language films.  Joining Cine Colombia in its Globalgate partnership is Colombia’s top production company, Dynamo Productions, producers of Netflix’s super-hit Narcos, the audience-pleasing The Hidden Face, and Sundance award-winning Undertow.

Said Paris Filmes’ Partner Sandi Adamiu and CEO Marcio Fraccaroli, “Clifford has been active in Brazilian cinema production for many years, and this partnership with Globalgate and our strong positioning alongside Globalgate’s partners around the world is certain to enhance Paris Filmes’ dominance in Brazil.”

“Cine Colombia will further leverage our industry-leading position as both a distributor and exhibitor in Colombia, by joining Globalgate’s assembly of best-in-class production and distribution companies,” said Cine Colombia President and CEO Munir Falah.

“Dynamo’s partnership with Globalgate complements our global strategies, and we look forward to working with Paul, William, Clifford, Lionsgate and all our other consortium partners,” said Dynamo CEO Andres Calderon.

Globalgate Co-Founders Paul Presburger, William Pfeiffer and Clifford Werber added, “Paris Filmes, Cine Colombia and Dynamo Productions are world-class film distribution and production companies and a perfect fit for Globalgate’s consortium.  We’re delighted they’ve joined us and look forward to producing many great Brazilian and Colombian films together as well as augmenting Globalgate’s formidable inventory of commercial intellectual property emanating from our consortium partners’ vibrant territories.”

Globalgate management has recently been involved with several major local-language box office successes, including Pantelion Films’ recent Mexican hit  No Manches Frida, based on the German box office sensation Fack ju Gohte and Pantelion’s mega-hit, Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.

Remakes of Instructions Not Included are being produced and distributed in territories around the world, including Demain tout commence, starring Omar Sy, which has garnered nearly 3 million admissions in France and almost 800,000 admissions in its first four weeks in Germany, and Sen Benim HerSeyimsin in Turkey. The company has several upcoming local-language films in the pipeline with its consortium partners.

ABOUT GLOBALGATE ENTERTAINMENT

Globalgate Entertainment is a producer and financier of mainstream, local-language motion pictures with a proprietary, global consortium of tier-1 production and distribution partners in key and emerging territories. Globalgate’s consortium partners include Lionsgate, Televisa (Latin America), Gaumont (France), Nordisk (Scandinavia), Kadokawa (Japan), Lotte (Korea), Tobis (Germany), TME (Turkey), Belga Filmes (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg) and Paris Filmes (Brazil). Globalgate, aligned with its consortium partners, has access to over 20,000 titles and, from its offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, and Beijing, curates additional commercial intellectual property from third-party rightsholders worldwide.

ABOUT PARIS FILMES

Paris Filmes is a Brazilian film company that was founded in 1960.  Led by Marcio Fraccaroli and Sandi Adamiu, the company specializes in high-quality film distribution and production.  Paris Filmes is the leading producer of Brazilian films and, in 2016, had an 81% market share of local-language films.  Produced by Paris Entretenimento, “Um Marido Para Minha Mulher” was a success with audiences and critics alike in 2016, as was “Carrossel 2 – O Sumiço de Maria Joaquina.”  Paris Filmes also had great success in distribution with popular Brazilian films such as “De Pernas Pro Ar” which was directed by Roberto Santucci and “Até Que a Sorte Nos Separe” which starred Camila Morgardo and Leandro Hassum. In 2017, the company released record-tying Academy Award nominee “La La Land” in Brazil and will distribute the much anticipated “Power Rangers”.  International releases by the company in Brazil include: “Inside Llewyn Davis”, the Coen brothers movie; the acclaimed “The Wolf of Wall Street” by Martin Scorsese; “Maps to the Stars” by David Cronenberg (Julianne Moore was the winner of the Best Actress award in Cannes); the first animated adaptation of the masterpiece of Antoine de Saint-Exupery “The Little Prince”; the Divergent film series; “Mockingjay Part 2” from the global blockbuster Hunger Games franchise; “Now You See Me 2”; and successes of Argentine cinema such as “Kóblic” which starred Ricardo Darín, and the movie based on the life of Brazilian MMA fighting champion José Aldo, “Mais Forte que O Mundo”, which was directed by Afonso Poyart. In 2016 Paris Filmes also distributed multiple Academy Award nominees such as “Brooklyn” and “The Desert Wolf”.  Other major achievements were the distribution of the Golden Globe-winning film “Silver Linings Playbook” in which American actress Jennifer Lawrence won an Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in 2013 and “Midnight in Paris“, the highestgrossing Woody Allen film in Brazil.

ABOUT CINE COLOMBIA

Cine Colombia, founded in 1927, is the first circuit in Colombia to install digital projection in 2007, evidencing its architectural and technological industry prominence.  Munir Falah, President and CEO since 1990, currently oversees roughly 2,000 employees. Cine Colombia has 290 screens, at 43 locations, in 12 Colombian cities and is investing $100 million on 110 new screens opening over the next three years. Cine Colombia has several large format screens called Mega Sala Cineco, boosting a 40% bigger screen than traditional screens. The circuit also has 7 MediaMation Mx4D theatres, branded as Dinamix 4D.

In addition, Cine Colombia is the leading distributor in Colombia, with a 46% market share, representing Fox, many Latin American Consortiums and independent production companies. In 2016, the company released 88 of the 320 films released in Colombia and, on average, co-finances 5 Colombian films each year. Cine Colombia also has a very strong Alternative Content division, representing the NY MET Opera, the Bolshoi Ballet, the London National Theatre, and many other cultural events.

 ABOUT DYNAMO PRODUCTIONS

DYNAMO was founded in Bogotá on 2006 by Andrés Calderón and Diego Ramírez, who today lead the Company along with their creative and executive partners Cristian Conti, Andi Baiz and Michel Ruben from their offices in Bogotá, New York, Mexico, and Madrid.

DYNAMO has consolidated itself as one of Latin America’s most important audiovisual production companies. Among their most relevant productions since their first feature film ‘Satanás’, are ‘Malcriados’, ‘Out of the Dark’, ‘Contracorriente’ and ‘The Hidden Face’. Dynamo has also produced ‘Los 33’ with Antonio Banderas, the first feature film under the Rebate Law of 2012 as well as their alliance with Netflix for the widely successful series ‘Narcos’. They also have stellar productions under the Rebate Law such as ‘American Made’ with Tom Cruise and ‘Escobar’ with Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz.

For further information and inquiries, please contact:

Peter D. Wilkes
Lionsgate
pwilkes@lionsgate.com
310-255-3726

(Source: prnewswire.com)

Netflix snags NOLA-shot ‘Mudbound’ in $12.5 million deal: report

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Mike Scott, NOLA.com

Mudbound, the New Orleans-shot race drama that debuted this month at the Sundance Film Festival to sweeping acclaim, has been picked up by Netflix. The online streaming service paid $12.5 million for distribution rights to director Dee Rees’ film, the biggest deal to come out of this year’s fest, according to Variety and other industry publications.

With Mudbound being hailed as an instant contender for next year’s Oscars, Netflix will reportedly release the film simultaneously online and in theaters, following it with an award-season campaign. It is unclear how soon Netflix plans to release the film.

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Based on Hillary Jordan’s 2008 novel of the same name, “Mudbound” tracks the complicated relationship between two families — one white, the other black — living in rural Mississippi just after World War II. Carey Mulligan plays a refined Memphis woman who relocates with her new husband (Jason Clarke) and their two young daughters to the Delta. Rob Morgan and Mary J. Blige play the heads of a black family that farms cotton on a leased part of Mulligan and Clarke’s land.

Also starring are Garret Hedlund and New Orleans native Jason Mitchell.

(Source: nola.com)

Hyun Bin film ‘Confidential Assignment’

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Riddhiman Mukhopadhyay

South Korean star Hyun Bin’s latest action movie called ‘Confidential Assignment’ is expected to be distributed to an impressive 42 countries. This is indeed great news for fans of the ‘Secret Garden’ actor.

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As reported by website Soompi, on January 27, CJ Entertainment, the company that is in charge of distributing the film, announced that ‘Confidential Assignment,’ also known as ‘Cooperation,’ would be released in many countries across the globe. Currently, the distribution company has set its eyes on the United States, Australia, and New Zealand on February 9, Hong Kong and Macau on February 16, Taiwan on February 17, and Vietnam on March 3.

As per a statement released by CJ Entertainment, they have already sold the film to several countries, including India, countries in the Middle East, Mongolia and Philippines. They also mentioned that Hyun Bin is quite popular in countries apart from South Korea, which is what drawing the crowd to the movie.

“Hyun Bin is highly popular overseas due to his drama roles,” CJ Entertainment said.

However, the movie has a topical element as well: tensions between North and South Korea. But to what extent this political and social issue is addressed in the film remains to be seen. The movie seems to be mostly a Die Hard-esque action thriller with Hyun Bin as the titular handsome but tough good guy, playing a North Korean special investigator. His comic sidekick is played by Yoo Hae-jin, who is a South Korean detective.

The trailer for the film looks good, and promises two hours of escapist fun at the least. The movie also features popular actors Kim Joo-hyuk and Girls’ Generation‘s Im Yoona in supporting roles.

Hyun Bin has often been in the limelight for his relationship and marriage plans with girlfriend Kang So-ra. He recently said he is busy with his work and will think about going out on a date with her later. During an interview for ‘Cooperation‘ Hyun Bin also gave his two cents regarding the responsibility of an actor towards society.

“An actor isn’t someone who is voted in by the people, but just someone who is famous. I don’t think we need to be perfect and take responsibility for our actions, but since there are young people who look at us and follow us, I don’t think we can just say that we have no responsibilities, either,” Hyun Bin said, as quoted by Soompi.

(Source: ibtimes.sg)

More distribution deals struck at Sundance ’17

Posted by Larry Gleeson

From the Salt Lake Tribune Staff

Another space of distribution deals have been made this week at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival:

• Fox Searchlight bought worldwide distribution rights to “Patti Cake$,” director Geremy Jasper’s crowd-pleasing tale of a white New Jersey girl (Danielle McDonald) who pursues his dreams of being a rap star. It played in the U.S. Dramatic competition.

• Fox Searchlight also picked up worldwide distribution rights to Amanda Lipitz’s documentary “Step,” which follows the progress of a step team at an inner-city Baltimore school. Fox Searchlight also acquired the remake rights. The movie played in the U.S. Documentary competition.

• Sony Pictures Classics has bought worldwide rights to the comedy “Brigsby Bear,” which played in the U.S. Dramatic competition. Directed by Dave McCary and filmed in Utah, the movie stars Kyle Mooney (who co-wrote the screenplay) as a young man whose life is upended, and he discovers the children’s TV show he watched his entire life was made for an audience of one.

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Roadside Attractions and FilmNation teamed up to secure North American rights to “Beatriz at Dinner,” starring Salma Hayek as a holistic therapist who encounters a businessman (John Lithgow) at a dinner party. The movie, which played in the Premieres section, was directed by Miguel Arteta and written by Mike White.

• Amazon picked up the true-life drama “Crown Heights,” starring Lakeith Stansfield as a Brooklyn man wrongfully imprisoned for a murder he didn’t commit. The movie was directed by Matt Ruskin.

• Amazon also has picked up worldwide theatrical rights to “City of Ghosts,” Matthew Heineman’s documentary (in the U.S. Documentary competition) about a citizen-journalist group risking life and limb to get out information about the Islamic State’s atrocities in Syria. The movie was produced by A&E Indie Films, and A&E will retain the TV rights.

• IFC Midnight has acquired U.S. rights to “78/52,” director Alexandre O. Phillippe’s documentary (which played in the Midnight section) that dissects the shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.”

• RLJ Entertainment landed U.S. rights to the Midnight title “Bushwick.” The movie, directed by Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott and starring Brittany Snow and Dave Bautista, is set in a near-future in which a secessionist Texas militia invades Brooklyn.

(Source: stltrib.com)

FilmRise Acquires Exclusive Worldwide Distribution Rights to SUPERGIRL

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Film and TV distributor FilmRise today announced it has acquired exclusive worldwide screen-shot-2017-01-23-at-9-42-29-pmrights to SUPERGIRL. The film will screen at Slamdance 2017 today, Tuesday, January 24th. Directed by Jessie Auritt, “Supergirl” explores the extraordinary life of Naomi Kutin, an Orthodox Jewish pre-teen, who at the age of nine broke world records in powerlifting and became an international phenomenon. As she fights to hold on to her title, Kutin is navigating the perils of adolescence – from religious obligations to cyber-bullying and health issues, which could jeopardize her future in powerlifting. Can she still be “Supergirl” if she can no longer break world records? With a passionate family supporting her each step of the way, Naomi must learn to accept herself and discover she is as strong inside as she is outside.

The coming-of-age documentary made its world premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival, followed by screenings at the Cucalorus Film Festival, DOC NYC and Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival. In addition to Slamdance 2017, the film will also screen at the Palm Beach Jewish Film, and the Big Sky Documentary Festival.

“Supergirl” will make its broadcast debut on the upcoming season of PBS’s Independent Lens.

 

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Jessie Auritt, Director of the coming-of-age documentary, SuperGirl. (Photo via twitter)

“We’re so excited to begin our partnership with FilmRise after a successful initial festival run,” said Jessie Auritt, the film’s director.

Noted Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise: “We are thrilled to help bring this unique coming-of-age story to a wider audience. Jessie Auritt has found a truly original subject in Naomi Kutin and has brought a distinct directorial vision to the project.”

 

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Lois Vossen, Executive Producer of PBS Independent Lens (Photo via pbs.org)

“This feisty film brings together issues of female empowerment, religious beliefs and one very strong family’s commitment to each other and to greater tolerance,” said Lois Vossen, Executive Producer of Independent Lens. “We applaud Jessie for making such an entertaining film that shows how, despite our differences, we’re all more alike than we might think. We look forward to bringing the film to INDEPENDENT LENS on PBS.”

 

The deal was negotiated by Fisher and FilmRise’s VP of Acquisitions Max Einhorn with Daniel Hyman and Abby Davis of Preferred Content.

ABOUT FILMRISE

FilmRise is a film and TV distribution company founded by veteran producer/financiers Danny Fisher, Jack Fisher and Alan Klingenstein. With over 15,000 titles in a wide range of genres, the company’s film acquisitions and releases include HBO’s multiple Emmy®-winning “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief”; “Janis: Little Girl Blue,” produced by Oscar®-winner Alex Gibney; the acclaimed true crime documentary “The Witness”; and most recently, the controversial drama “White Girl.” Television titles include hit series such as Showtime’s Emmy®-winning “Years of Living Dangerously,” the longest running true crime show on television “Forensic Files,” and iconic Robert Stack hosted series “Unsolved Mysteries.” FilmRise’s recent acquisitions are two-time Academy Award®-nominee Julie Delpy’s “Lolo”; “Five Nights in Maine,” starring Oscar®-winner Dianne Wiest, David Oyelowo, and Oscar®-nominee Rosie Perez; the buzzed-about horror-comedy “The Greasy Strangler”; the box office hit “Harry & Snowman”; and “Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago” in partnership with CNN Films. For more information, go to: http://www.FilmRise.com

 

Annapurna launches marketing, distribution operation

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Jeremy Kay

The timely development comes as industry sources predict Megan Ellison’s team is in Sundance looking to make a statement buy as the festival wraps up its first weekend.

The full-service distribution and marketing operation will kick off with the inaugural release of Kathryn Bigelow’s Untitled Detroit Project in theatres on August 4.

Marc Weinstock, who recently joined the company as president, will oversee the new division alongside president of marketing David Kaminow and president of distribution Erik Lomis.

The addition of a deep-pocketed buyer adds to speculation over who will make the big acquisition plays in Park City.

Prior to the festival there was talk that YouTube Red, Facebook and Apple could be the ones to watch besides Netflix and Amazon Studios. While those first three companies are making inroads into feature content and have the money to step up, the focus now turns to Annapurna.

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Marc Weinstock (Photo via HollywoodReporter.com)

“Kathryn’s Untitled Detroit Project is exemplary of the type of films we will be distributing,” said Weinstock. “I couldn’t be more confident in the team we are establishing to distribute and market the film in a way that is as creative and masterful as her film is.”

 

Bigelow’s film takes place against the backdrop of Detroit’s 1967 riots. Bigelow is producing with Ellison and Matthew Budman. Mark Boal, who wrote the script, and Colin Wilson are also producers with Greg Shapiro serving as executive producer.

The release date will coincide with the 50th anniversary of the riots and stars an ensemble cast that includes John Boyega, John Krasinski, Anthony Mackie, Jason Mitchell, Will Poulter, Jack Reynor and Jeremy Strong.

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Megan Ellison, producer and founder of Annapurna Pictures (Photo via Screendaily.com)

“Kathryn took a chance on me six years ago and I’m honored that she has put her faith in me and my team once again,” said Ellison, referring to Zero Dark Thirty. “I could not be more excited to be launching this new part of our company with such a groundbreaking filmmaker, tremendous collaborator, and dear friend.”

Bigelow added: “Megan has been such a huge supporter of filmmakers as a producer and the fact that she is now offering a full-fledged distribution and marketing home run by such innovative and creative executives is great news to all of us. I am thrilled to be working with them.”

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Pictured above, Kathryn Bigelow’s latest film, Untitled Detroit Project, is slated to be Annapurna Pictures’ inaugural combined marketing and distribution operation. (Photo via The  AV Club)

 

(Source: screendaily.com)

 

 

Sundance: Exploring the Implications of Amazon’s New Distribution Play

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Dan Shoenbrun

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Earlier this week, Amazon Video Direct (AVD, a department within Amazon focused on self-publishing distribution tools for filmmakers) announced an intriguing new opportunity available to Sundance 2017 feature filmmakers. Dubbed the “Film Festival Stars” program, AVD is offering, in exchange for a two-year worldwide SVOD (subscription VOD) contract (with one-year exclusive) an up-front “cash bonus” to Sundance titles on a sliding scale based on section ($100,000 for US Narrative Competition titles, $75,000 for US Documentary Competition Titles, and $25,000 for titles in the NEXT, Midnight, Kids, World, New Frontiers, and Spotlight sections). The deal also offers a preferential rate on Amazon’s standard payouts per stream.

Though AVD framed this announcement as a “self-distribution opportunity,” it was greeted with debate from a subset of influential independent producers on Facebook, who pointed out that it sounded less like “self-distribution” and more like a traditional, albeit standardized SVOD distribution deal. The point was raised that the initial exclusivity clause would all but rule out other distribution opportunities (as SVOD is the most lucrative revenue stream on most independent films in 2017), and that what was here being referred to as a “cash bonus” was simply a rebranded version of what other distributors referred to as an MG (or “minimum guarantee”). Further concern was raised over the fact that this standardized “cash bonus” publicly assigned an across-the-board standard price point to all Sundance films premiering in a given category. Would this devalue the market overall? $100k or $25k, after all, would hardly be considered “recouping” for most films premiering at Sundance.

This is a depressing fact, but to my eyes Amazon’s numbers are actually quite generous when you consider the fact that this is a deal aimed not at the major, star-driven films premiering at the festival, but rather at those films that won’t land a big sale. There are certainly plenty of Sundance films that will not be offered worldwide MGs for nearly as high an amount as those offered here.

So is there a downside to filmmakers and producers having this additional opportunity available to them?

Probably not, at least not in the immediate future. But in my opinion this announcement should worry one subsection of the industry: niche and micro-budget distributors. By naming a standardized price that many distributors can’t hope to match, Amazon wagers that there are filmmakers out there willing to choose upfront money over the less quantifiable benefits that a smaller distributor will offer in lieu of an MG (marketing, PR, P&A, theatrical bookings).

I queried AVD about their Film Festival Stars program via email, and tried to ask questions that I’d want to know more about if I was a filmmaker or producer considering this deal, or a distributor fretting about the future of my business. They replied with these responses attributed collectively to the AVD team.

Filmmaker: Can you clarify how Amazon Video Direct differs from Amazon Studios? Are the films participating in Amazon Video Direct also available to stream for free to all Amazon Prime members?

AVD: Amazon Original Movies is interested in films for acquisition purposes — they are looking to purchase, co-finance, pre-buy and invest in premium original content that will be theatrically released and can be viewed exclusively by Prime members. Amazon Video Direct is a service offered by Amazon Video that enables filmmakers and other content creators to make their titles available to Amazon customers worldwide, including millions of Amazon Prime customers, through a self-service publishing interface without the need for complex negotiations or contracts. The Film Festival Stars program, from Amazon Video Direct, is a program focused on filmmakers, beyond those targeted for direct acquisition by AOM and Prime Video teams at Sundance, who want to self-distribute their films by providing additional opportunities to make their films available to Amazon Prime members. The opt-in nature of Amazon Video Direct and Film Festival Stars is what makes it unique.

Filmmaker: Will similar offers (with upfront “publishing bonuses”) be made to filmmakers premiering at other US festivals like SXSW and Tribeca? Or is this deal unique to Sundance?

AVD: At this time, the Film Festival Stars program is only open to films chosen as official selections at Sundance 2017.

Filmmaker: Can you speak a bit about how you determined the pricing tiers offered in this deal? The numbers imply that you have generally determined that US Dramatic Competition films are 25% more valuable than US Documentaries, and four-times more valuable than films in the Foreign and Midnight sections. How did you arrive at these estimates?

AVD: As an opt-in program, we are not placing value on individual or classes of films. The non-recoupable up front bonus for filmmakers who opt-in to the program is intended to pay for a portion of the marketing and theatrical costs typically associated with films in these categories. Every title that is published in the program will earn double the per-hour royalty rate we pay with our standard terms.

Filmmaker: Why is exclusivity important to AVD’s business plan?

AVD: We require exclusivity to justify the substantial up-front cash bonus (non-recoupable) and elevated per-hour royalty rate. AVD is investing in the film with an up-front bonus (marketing dollars), and in exchange ask it to be exclusive to Prime members through SVOD for the first 12 months (starting after a 6-month window).

Filmmaker: Some producers have criticized the windowing of this deal (which requires films start streaming by September), arguing that smaller films considering self-distribution need more time to exhaust all distribution options, and to realistically plan and execute a theatrical release. How did you arrive at this deadline, and what is your response to those who say its in a filmmaker’s best interest to wait longer before choosing a VOD partner?

AVD: There are many high-quality films screened at major film festivals that are ultimately not acquired for full service distribution. The Film Festival Stars program is designed to provide a new distribution pathway alternative for a broader set of films screened during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Each film is unique and we believe expanding distribution options for filmmakers will result in more great films reaching a bigger audience. We also feel it is important to ensure filmmakers retain the flexibility to pursue additional distribution options outside of our SVOD exclusivity terms.

Filmmaker: I imagine many filmmakers will find themselves torn between this AVD offer and offers from smaller, niche distributors who are making lower monetary bids but with a more tailored, hands-on approach to things like P&A and theatrical. Taking into account that smaller distributors are still able to place films on major streaming platforms (including Amazon), and that self-distribution can be quite a time-consuming and costly endeavor, what would your argument be to a filmmaker to go with AVD outside of the money offered?

AVD: The “opt-in” nature of Film Festival Stars is what makes it unique.  Filmmakers who do not choose to participate in the Film Festival Stars program are free to choose whether they want to license their SVOD rights on the standard program terms. With the Film Festival Stars program we are creating another option for filmmakers as they craft a holistic distribution strategy, which may include self-distribution or working with other distribution partners. The filmmaker is making the choice and in control.

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(Source: filmmakermagazine.com)

Ericsson’s Nuvu to distribute 20th Century Fox TV’s DreamWorks animated features across Africa

Posted by Larry Gleeson

Nuvu, Ericsson’s SVOD platform will distribute 20th Century Fox TV’s DreamWorks Animation-produced titles along with an extensive selection of global film franchises for territories across sub-Saharan Africa in multiple language.

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In a statement, Thorsten Sauer, head of Broadcast and Media Services, Ericsson said:

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Thorsten Sauer, head of Ericsson’s Broadcast and Media Services (Photo via digitalveurope.com)

“This feature film content deal through 20th Century Fox Television Distribution is another major milestone for Ericsson as we look to expand our new SVOD service, Nuvu. Through this partnership, Nuvu subscribers will have access to some of Hollywood’s hottest films as part of their package, localized on a market-by-market basis.”

Developed for mobile operators in Africa, Nuvu leverages the company’s extensive over-the top capabilities based on Ericsson Managed Player and components of Ericsson MediaFirst TV Platform, Ericsson’s highly scalable modular technology platforms used by broadcasters and telco service providers to distribute video content efficiently to connected devices.

For a monthly fee, subscribers have unlimited access to an initial 3 000 local and international premium titles across a wide variety of genres including Hollywood and Nollywood movies, TV series, kids, music, gospel and education.

To take on competitors – ShowMax, Amazon and Netflix – Nuvu has built-in ability to distribute content to consumers during off-peak periods minimising data costs for both operator and consumer. The platform also integrates fully into the operator’s customer relationship management and payment systems.

(Source: screenafrica.com, TechMoran)

The Case for Theatrical Distribution-Putting Your Movie Into Theaters Still Makes Business Sense. Here’s Why:

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Phillipe Diaz

A truth universally acknowledged: Everything is going digital, from the promotion of films to the way they are screened in movie theaters.

The bulk of film revenue comes from online, not only domestically but worldwide. Producers today wonder if their films still need theatrical and DVD distribution, both of which have been declining in profits, or if they can bypass these and go straight to the digital market. On top of lower returns, the fact that almost 30 new movies open every week crowds the theatrical market like never before. The clamor of do-it-yourself distribution makes things even more confusing. So, can a case still be made for theatrical release? Yes. Here’s why:

Source: The Case for Theatrical Distribution: Putting Your Movie Into Theaters Still Makes Business Sense. Here’s Why

(Excerpted from moviemaker.com)