CATEGORIES Independent, SXSW, Distribution, Cinematical Indie, Movie News, SXSW Film Festival, CinematicalA couple of film critics decided to take matters into their own hands and start their own DVD distribution company -- that's the way to promote indie films you think need to be seen! Aaron Hillis, who writes at Cinephiliac and who himself is a filmmaker (Fish Kill Flea) and Andrew Grant, who writes at Like Anna Karina's Sweater, have founded Benten Films, which will distribute indie films and world cinema in North America. James Rocchi interviewed Grant and Hillis earlier this month about the new company as part of his Rocchi Review podcast. Benten Films is part of Ryko Distribution, which is able to distribute DVDs nationally in big stores (and through Amazon) so these films will be widely available.
The first DVD being released by Benten Films is LOL, Joe Swanberg's second feature. You might recall that his latest film, Hannah Takes the Stairs, is being released by IFC next month. Karina Longworth reviewed LOL at SXSW last year (we flipped a coin for the review and I lost, sadly) and called it "most remarkable for the way it shackles the sex drives of its protagonists to their digital toys." If you haven't seen any of Swanberg's films, check out Eat My Shorts: The Mumblecore Crowd where I linked to Thanks for the ADD along with some similar shorts. I'm looking forward to seeing LOL on DVD when it hits the streets August 28 -- and the extras look good too, including commentary tracks and another short called Hissy Fits. Keep an eye out for future Benten Films DVDs, which currently include The Guatemalan Handshake, Quiet City and Dance Party, USA.