Los Angeles, CA — Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, today announced that the Institute’s Artist Services program – which provides Institute artists with exclusive opportunities for creative self-distribution, marketing and financing solutions for their work – has expanded to include selected films supported by one foundation and five nonprofit organizations. Additionally, these organizations will join with Sundance Institute in continuing to shape the program and the services it offers.
The Bertha Foundation, BRITDOC, Cinereach, Film Independent, the Independent Filmmaker Project and the San Francisco Film Society will each select films that they have supported to receive access to best-in-class digital distribution arrangements that have been negotiated by Sundance Institute Artist Services. These services are targeted for filmmakers who intend to pursue an independent release plan. In support of these filmmakers, the Institute will curate submitted films and work closely each organization, the filmmakers, and exclusive aggregation partner Cinedigm – New Video to develop independent distribution strategies. Furthermore, each organization will work with the Institute to expand educational opportunities to their alumni building on the model of the Artist Services Workshop that takes place each year during the Sundance Film Festival.
“Now more than ever filmmakers need to be creative and entrepreneurial in order to get their stories to audiences. Sundance Institute embraces cross-organizational collaboration in an effort to increase the collective impact on the field; it is in this spirit that we welcome the input of our colleagues to further help us shape the Artist Services program,” said Putnam. “Our hope is that it contributes to the long-term sustainability of independent film careers and a greater diversity of films reaching audiences each year.”
With the addition of new partners Tugg, Reelhouse, VHX, and Vimeo, Sundance Institute is expanding its suite of digital platforms and tools offered by Artist Services. Current partners include ten digital retailers as well as Kickstarter , GoWatchIt, and Topspin Media. Tugg is a web-platform that allows filmmakers and fans to create screening events at their local theater. Direct-to-fan platforms Reelhouse, VHX and Vimeo, like longtime Artist Services collaborator Topspin Media, will work with Sundance Institute and its interested supported filmmakers to develop opportunities to sell their films and merchandise directly to end users. All four new partners will participate in the annual Artist Services Workshop on Monday, January 21, at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Since the Artist Services program launched in January 2011, more than $3.2 million has been raised for nearly 100 Institute artists’ projects via Kickstarter and more than 40 films are now accessible by the public on a variety of platforms and storefronts.
The exclusive aggregation partner for distribution participating in the Artist Services program is Cinedigm – New Video. The Artist Services initiative is made possible by The Bertha Foundation. These deals were brokered via pro bono legal services generously provided by law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP, which has built the legal framework for the Artist Services program and participating filmmakers since its inception.
Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a global, nonprofit cultural organization dedicated to nurturing artistic expression in film and theatre, and to supporting intercultural dialogue between artists and audiences. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to unite, inform, and inspire, regardless of geopolitical, social, religious, or cultural differences. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival and its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, film composers, playwrights, and theatre artists, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born Into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, Light in the Piazza, and Angels in America. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
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QUOTES FROM COLLABORATING ORGANIZATIONS
The Bertha Foundation
“The Bertha Foundation has been a proud supporter of the Artist Services initiative since it began,” said Rebecca Lichtenfeld of Bertha Philanthropies. “It not only gives films the much-deserved opportunity to reach broader audiences but it also offer resources for the filmmaker and producers that assist with their distribution strategies. We are looking forward to this next phase of the initiative and the support it will provide Bertha Foundation film grantees among others.” http://www.berthafoundation.org/
“Wow. Thank you, Sundance Institute.” remarked Jess Search, CEO Britdoc Foundation, “BRITDOC is delighted to be joining Artist Services and to be able to get some films we love to audiences who will love them also. Artist Services is just the kind of smart distribution intervention that independent filmmakers, independent organizations like ours and independent audiences need. Kudos to Sundance Institute for having put it together and we look forward to being part of the innovations to come.” http://britdoc.org/
Philipp Engelhorn, Founder & Executive Director, Cinereach, stated, “Artist Services is a tremendous resource for producers who are committed to releasing their films with the same independent spirit it took to create them. We’re thrilled that Sundance Institute has opened this door for filmmakers, and look forward to being part of the dedicated family of organizations coming together to offer collective support.”
Josh Welsh, Co-President Film Independent, commented, “At a time when the biggest challenge isn’t so much making your film as it is getting it out into the world in a meaningful way, the Artist Services program provides a great opportunity for us to continue supporting the filmmakers we work with in our Labs and at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and to help them fully reach their audiences.” http://www.filmindependent.org/
Independent Filmmaker Project
Executive Director, IFP, Joana Vicente said, “It’s been exciting to see how Artist Services has flourished in the past year, and to see how many projects are reaping its benefits. IFP is thrilled to be collaborating with Sundance Institute on this initiative, as Artist Services is the perfect platform for what we have been doing for years: supporting filmmakers’ marketing and distribution efforts, ensuring that great independent work reaches and connects with audiences.” http://www.ifp.org/
San Francisco Film Society,
Ted Hope, Executive Director of the San Francisco Film Society, said, “The Sundance Institute Artist Services program is the most robust set of options for any filmmaker recognizing the full responsibility of independence. It’s an incredible privilege for SFFS to be invited to help guide filmmakers and their work into this new era.” www.sffs.org/
BOILERPLATES FOR COLLABORATING ORGANIZATIONS
Tugg, Inc. (“Tugg”) is a web-platform that enables people to choose the films that play in their local theaters. Through Tugg, individuals and organizations are empowered to select a film, screening time, and nearby theater, and then spread the word to their immediate and online community. Once a necessary amount of people commit to attending, the event will be confirmed, and Tugg will reserve the theater, manage ticketing and ensure delivery of the film; allowing the audience to sit back and enjoy the show. Tugg is currently working with exhibitors Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, AMC Theatres, Bow Tie Cinemas, Cinemark Theatres, Goodrich Quality Cinemas, Rave Cinemas and Regal Cinemas, as well as additional regional and independently-owned theaters across the country. These exhibitors provide theatrical venues for individually curated events showcasing Tugg’s growing library of hundreds of studio and independent films.
Founded in 2011, Reelhouse is an open video sharing community that offers film and video creators a rich toolset to self-distribute their content directly to their viewers via any Internet- connected device. Creators can chose between a series of monetization models while also leveraging customization, marketing, merchandising and media features that provide an engaging experience for their audience, all within a community specifically for quality entertainment content. Co-founded by former Electronic Arts producer Bill Mainguy and executive producer Bill Harrison, Reelhouse is advised by company executive board member and former Electronic Arts Canada General Manager Rory Armes, Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes and former Warner Bros. Records CEO Todd Moscowitz, among others. For more information, please visit http://www.reelhouse.org.
VHX, founded by Casey Pugh and Jamie Wilkinson, is a platform that allows filmmakers and artists to sell their work directly to fans via their own websites. Recent titles include the live special THE INVISIBLE MADE VISIBLE from This American Life, INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE directed by James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot, Aziz Ansari’s DANGEROUSLY DELICIOUS, BEAUTY IS EMBARRASSING directed by Neil Berkeley, WE ARE LEGION directed by Brian Knappenberger, Drafthouse Films MIAMI CONNECTION, and SOUND CITY directed by Dave Grohl. http://www.vhx.tv
Vimeo® is the home for high-quality videos and the people who love them. Vimeo’s mission is to empower and inspire people around the world to create, share and discover videos. As one of the world’s largest creative networks, Vimeo has over 14M registered members and reaches a global audience of more than 85M each month. Founded in 2004 and based in New York City, Vimeo, LLC is a subsidiary of IAC (NASDAQ: IACI)