@Cannes: VOD the Key?

By mattdentler | Matt Dentler's Blog May 13, 2009 at 3:26AM

@Cannes: VOD the Key?
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I'm not at Cannes yet (I arrive Saturday morning), but I'm watching from afar for now and keeping up with Tweets, news, and chatting with pals. Among the curtain-raisers in the press, is John Horn's piece in the Los Angeles Times, which asks whether VOD will be the most popular (and profitable) distribution outcome for many of the films unveiled at this year's festival and market. He also shares some news about developments here at Cinetic Rights Management (I'll let you read his article to see what I'm talking about). Here's an excerpt from his VOD piece:

"This has turned out to be the most efficient and best distribution paradigm we've come up with so far," said Magnolia's Eamonn Bowles.

For the distributors of independent film, VOD offers a cost-effective end run around most showings at the multiplex, where costs for even a limited national release can total $500,000. The way some forward-looking filmmakers and the VOD channel programmers see things, the new technology can bring their movies into corners of the country that rarely would have a chance to see new films that played in Cannes or other leading festivals at a fraction of the cost of a theatrical release.

"It is the wave of the future," said Andrew Herwitz, whose Films Sales Company is a prominent vendor of independent movies. "But the future is not yet here."

IFC Films, the most aggressive buyer and distributor of VOD releases, now operates two VOD channels, one for movies in limited theatrical release and one for films that have appeared only at festivals and will never make it to a theater. IFC acquired nine movies that premiered at last year's Cannes festival and picked up several others being sold at the concurrent film market.