Saturday, January 30, 2010

New Non-Profit aims to rep & support Indie Films

Nine films, including Sundance 2010 feature “One Too Many Mornings,” have allied with The Film Collaborative, a new non-profit group that aims to provide a range of services, including distribution and social networking services. Founded by former Wolfe Releasing exec Orly Ravid and Jeffrey Fabian Winter,  programmer/co-founder of the Sundance Film Festival’s “New Frontier” section, The Film Collaborative aims to provide a range of what it describes as “affordable” distribution, educational and marketing services to independent filmmakers, but it will not take film rights. Other notable insiders aligned with the organization include Rose Kuo, who recently left AFI Fest.

Additionally, the organization plans to present itself as an aggregator, allowing members of The Film Collaborative access to various digital and VOD distributors, including iTunes, Brainstorm Media, The Cinema Guild, Babelgum and others. According to the group’s website, deals are also pending with Netflix and Amazon Video On Demand.

Projects involved with The Film Collaborative in various capacities, so far, include: SXSW Film Festival winner “Made in China” by Judith Krant, Joshua Grannell’s “All About Evil,” Ari Gold’s “Adventures of Power,” Michael Mohan’s “One Too Many Mornings,” Haim Tabakman’s “Eyes Wide Open,” George O’Donnell’s “College Boys Live,” Meredith Scott Lynn and Bradford Tatum’s “Standing on Fishes,” Matt Dunnerstick’s “The Custom Mary” and Jonathan Leyser’s “William S. Burroughs: A Man Within.”

Membership in the organization ranges from $50 to $250 through its formal launch in March and prices will increase afterward. Fees and percentages are also attached to its various services.
In addition to digital distribution and social networking services, TFC plans to provide marketplace consultation, handle non-theatrical, festival and educational bookings and outreach, provide strategies for domestic and international sales, assist on DIY theatrical sales. Former AFI Fest artistic director Kuo is also coming on board to spearhead the group’s exhibition components, including what it calls national film showcases, including a traveling film festival and an online film event.

“I started out in distribution 10 or 12 years ago,” TFC co-founder Orly Ravid told indieWIRE by phone. “I never felt comfortable with layers of middle men. At some point I thought, ‘let’s make this a non-profit and I want it to be service based.’”

Ravid went on to say that they are not against distributors, but said that since not every filmmaker will find a deal, they want to become a destination for their projects. “It’s great to be able to tell filmmakers that if you don’t get a deal, you can get your film out there.” - Brian Brooks

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