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Austin Film Society Joins Sundance Institute’s Expanding International Artist Services Program

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 2, 2014 at 1:39PM

Over the past three years the Sundance Institute has expanded the reach of its Arts Services Program, which largely benefits filmmakers who have either played the festival or participated in the Institute's various workshops. Now independent films from seven eligible indie-friendly organizations can also access Artist Services' digital distribution deals and discounts.
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Upstream Color
'Upstream Color'
Sundance logo new

Over the past three years the Sundance Institute has expanded the reach of its Arts Services Program, which largely benefits filmmakers who have either played the festival or participated in the Institute's various workshops. 

Now independent films from seven eligible indie-friendly organizations can also access Artist Services' digital distribution deals and discounts. The eligible organizations include new collaborator/consultant Austin Film Society--which will also present a day-long Sundance Institute Artist Services Workshop on May 10 at Austin Studios--as well as renewing non-profits The Bertha Foundation, BRITDOC, Cinereach, west-coast Film Independent, east-coast Independent Filmmaker Project and the San Francisco Film Society.

The Institute’s Artist Services program provides filmmakers with exclusive options for digital distribution, marketing and financing for their projects. Under the direction of Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, and the Artists Services' team led by Chris Horton and Joe Beyer, Artists Services will continue to collaborate "with these top film organizations to provide access to distribution for great independent films, evolve strategies to meet the demands of a shifting distribution landscape, and ensure the long-term sustainability of the field,” Putnam stated. “Adding Austin Film Society means more filmmakers can reach audiences in the coming year through multiple platforms and on their own terms.”

Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing
Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing

Each organization can provide films they have supported with access to digital distribution offered through Artist Services, which works closely with each non-profit, the filmmakers, and aggregator Cinedigm to develop and execute marketing and distribution strategies.

The Austin Film Society's Sundance Institute Artist Services Workshop on May 10 will feature industry experts who will "discuss the latest technology and trends in creative financing, digital distribution, guerilla marketing and independent theatrical distribution," according to a Sundance release. 

Since the Artist Services launch in January 2011, the network has distributed more than 100 projects, including "Upstream Color," "Detropia" and "Burn," and more than $7.3 million has been raised for nearly 220 Institute artists’ projects via Kickstarter. Cinedigm is the exclusive aggregation partner for distribution across all portals participating in the Artist Services program. Law firm O’Melveny & Myers built the legal framework for the Artist Services program and participating filmmakers.

This article is related to: Sundance Institute , News


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.