By Peter Belsito | SydneysBuzz May 24, 2014 at 3:34PM
Ireland's oldest cinema event, Cork Film Festival will run November 7-16, 2014. Last year James Mullighan was appointed Creative Director of the festival, which is not only one of the most important cultural events in the country but also the highest profile platform for the new talent discovery.
As part their latest efforts to create new distribution platforms to connect audience with content, James Mullighan and Head of Program and Editorial Don O’Mahoney attended this year's Cannes Film Festival, and announced that their Fest is launching its very first video on demand initiative. Their inaugural digital program is conformed of seven shorts and seven features being retailed on a pay what you want basis, alongside bonus content. The films can be digitally purchased viia the innovative platform VODO, which careful curates themed bundles of content, and it's working with a film Fest for the first time. Vodo.net/cork.
The initiative has three tiers: Pay What you Want (four shorts and one feature, including Made in Cork prize winner Yvonne’ Keane’s Stolen, and Filmbase Ireland’s How to be Happy, starring Brian Gleeson); Beat the Average (three features and three shorts, including biopic of writer / chess master John Healy Barbaric Genius, and Cork Fest 2013 opening night short Mechanic, starring Syl Fox); and Beat the Premium (including Tony Palmer’s recently reissued 1974 Leonard Cohen doc Bird on a Wire, and John Kastner’s prize winner mental health sensational doc Not Criminally Responsible).
“We’ve been working with Jamie King and the team at VODO since straight after the Fest last year”, said James Mullighan, Creative Director, Cork Film Festival.
“In this day of screeching web noise, I really admire the platform’s loving, carefully curated approach to films and more. They were the ideal choice to launch this experiment in distribution. I am hopeful it will be popular with the thousands and thousands of fans of the Cork Film Festival in Ireland, Europe and amongst the global Irish diaspora, who fondly wish they could attend the Fest, but cannot. I’m grateful to and proud of the independent directors and producers who lit up our Fest in November last year to trust Jamie and I with their babies”.
Once payment handling costs have been deducted, VODO - who levy no extra charges other than their 25% sales fee - hand all the proceeds to Cork Film Festival. The Festival send 70% of that straight to the filmmakers, ringfencing 5% for its new €1,500 feature film Gradam Spiorad na Féile / Spirit of the Festival Award, which takes a bow during the Fest’s 59th Edition this year.
"Cork's Bundle shows a real engagement with online culture and experimentation in the transmedia sphere", commented Jamie King, CEO and Founder of VODO, which has recently successfully promoted Not Safe for Work and Big Brother bundles.
“When you let customers set the price for themselves,’ says VODO’s Jamie King, ‘they can turn out to be surprisingly generous. The average price paid for the Cork Bundle is currently $11.20. That's a win both for audiences and the filmmakers.”
"I had a wonderful time when I was honored to be invited to Cork last November as filmmaker in residence”, remembered Tony Palmer, celebrated British music film biographer and documentarian, whose Leonard Cohen film Bird on a Wire played at the Fest, as well as his new Benjamin Britten feature Nocturne, and his entire 7 hour, 46 minute dramatic reconstruction of the life of composer Richard Wagner, the last film Richard Burton even made.
“The Cork Film Festival is going out on a limb to bring its films to a wider audience. This should be celebrated, and I’m delighted to be involved.
The bundle went live on Wednesday 14 May, the opening day of Cannes International Film Festival, and runs until Tuesday 3 June.