B-Side shutters

by mikejones
February 22, 2010 4:21 AM
1 Comment
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Coming out of extended hibernation to report that B-Side has closed its doors after failing to re-capitalize. Scott Macaulay at Filmmaker has the story here:

B-side Entertainment, the Austin-based tech and distribution company that provides website services to film festivals, is closing. The company, which launched a New York-based distribution arm just 13 months ago, lost its funding from venture capital fund Valhalla Partners in late 2009. “We have spent the last four or five months looking for a [financing] alternative,” B-Side CEO and founder Chris Hyams told Filmmaker. “But we reached the end of our cash before we could secure new investment. We had to shut the company down.”

B-Side shuts down after a huge gig running Sundance's online fest catalog, where they introduced a buzz section that tracked audience response to films. They had also recently branched into film distribution, embracing a grassroots, build-your-own-screening approach that saw some success with the docu "Super High Me" that pushed DVD sales through free screenings.

What happened? B-Side's President of Distribution Paola Freccero told Macaulay that the VC fund, Valhalla Partners, didn't have the patience for indie film:

“The VC world is one that looks for astronomical success in short amount of time, but the film business has never been about quick success. It’s about who can stay in the business long enough to become profitable. There is just a big discrepancy between what a traditional VC [fund] wants to see as a success and what is possible in independent film’s new world order. It’s not anyone’s fault — just unfortunate timing.”

Scott has a very thorough piece on the breakdown at the Filmmaker Mag blog. Check it out.

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1 Comment

  • jl | February 23, 2010 4:59 AMReply

    A little surprising. VCs have always been known to go to bat for the "home run", kinda like indie films. I wonder if it was the economy, or B-Side's burn rate, or just the impatience of the VCs (or redemptions from investors).

    Too bad. Not a great sign for entrepreneurs.