The movie is Elite Squad, a Brazilian drama about police corruption that won the top prize at Berlin in February and comes from a great pedigree: it was directed by José Padilha, who made the fantastic documentary Bus 174, and co-written by Bráulio Mantovani, who wrote City of God. (Cinematical's Scott Weinberg reviewed it mostly favorably at Tribeca.) It's the kind of foreign film that would normally do pretty well on the U.S. art house circuit, if the art houses weren't already overcrowded at the moment.
So the Weinsteins -- who actually helped produce the film, rather than merely buying the finished product at a festival -- have made a deal (with unspecified terms) with IFC Films. IFC will release it in a few theaters at the same time that it becomes available through IFC's Video-on-Demand service. Our Christopher Campbell wrote an excellent summary of this practice, known as "day-and-date," in April. Basically, day-and-date helps non-blockbuster films get seen by more people.
The regular practice is to open the film in New York and L.A. and then gradually, slowly spread it around the country. But it costs money to strike prints and ship them everywhere; the film's momentum in the press has usually diminished by the time it reaches the masses; and plenty of movie lovers don't live close enough to a theater that might actually carry it anyway.
So day-and-date has plenty of advantages, and IFC has been experimenting with it for a couple years now. We'll see how it pans out for Elite Squad.
[Via The Hollywood Reporter.]