CATEGORIES Independent, IFC, Distribution, Exhibition, Newsstand, Politics, Mark Cuban, Cinematical Indie, Movie News, CinematicalDespite the fact that over 70 million homes receive his HDNet channel, Mark Cuban is still not making any money on his HD dream. Part of the problem (I'm not going to get into how many/few homes have HD TVs and receivers) is that some major cable companies -- including Comcast -- still refuse to carry either HDNet or its sister channel, HDNet Movies. In fact, a couple of years ago, Comcast, Cox, and Time Warner collectively created an HD channel of their own called INHD, which they conceived as "a Cuban-killer." (He's still here. As is HDNet.)
Because of Cuban's feud with Comcast, as Karina mentioned in her column, there were rumblings that his Landmark Theaters, the biggest independent chain in the country, might refuse to show films that were part of distributor IFC Films' day/date release deal with Comcast. No official, public statements were made, however, so things continued as normal, and Caveh Zahedi's I Am a Sex Addict (part of the day/date deal) was scheduled to open at a Landmark theater in Berkeley on Friday, April 7. Then, yesterday, Zahedi heard from IFC that the film had been pulled by the theater because of Cuban's beef with Comcast. Not surprisingly, Zahedi was upset, and (quite reasonably, it would seem) blamed Cuban for the affair. According to Cuban's comment on the above post (scroll down the page a little, and you'll find it), however, IFC knew the film would not be screened at any Landmark theaters and schedule it anyway. Hmm.
No matter who's to blame, the fact is that a little indie film is caught up in something much, much bigger than it is. Can you even imagine how frustrating this must be for the filmmakers who, after IFC's deal with Comcast, were thrilled at the prospect of (relatively) wide distribution for the babies, only to run into this roadblock? Man alive, what a nightmare.