CATEGORIES Independent, Deals, SXSW, Fandom, Distribution, Exhibition, Newsstand, Quentin Tarantino, Home Entertainment, Features, Movie News, SXSW Film Festival, CinematicalEvery day seems to bring a new channel for delivering great, unheralded film right to your television or laptop. The latest is Film Buff, a video-on-demand channel run by Cinetic, and overseen by Matt Dentler, former producer of the legend that is Austin's SXSW. Variety has the details great and small.
I can't describe this channel better than Cinetic president John Sloss, who says its "as if your most film-literate friend programmed your Netflix queue and it was immediately available." They plan to offer as many as 15 first run films and classics per month, and the first slate is pretty tasty: The Carter (the Lil Wayne documentary that premiered at Sundance), Enzo Castellari's original The Inglorious Bastards, the 1984 documentary The Times of Harvey Milk, Richard Linklater's Slacker, and Michael Almereyda's New Orleans, Mon Amour. Dentler stresses that they won't be limited to Cinetic repped titles, nor will they only showcase new releases. FilmBuff also aims to champion older films in need of rediscovery, especially if they're tied into a hot trend or remake, such as Quentin Tarantino and his Basterds.
But one of FilmBuff's main goals is to introduce audiences to a wide selection of indie films, and give smaller movies a chance to shine with home audiences. I'm sure a lot of you live in cities that don't have a great indie scene, and a channel like Film Buff is a way to access small films and documentaries. It'll be nice and cheap too, with costs ranging from $2.99 to $9.99 to rent a film. Cinetic won't be buying rights, a'la IFC and Magnolia, and will aim to keep costs low in order to give the lion's share of the profit to filmmakers. Right now, Film Buff is only available in 10 million homes, but will expand to 30 by the end of the summer ... and let's hope it keeps going strong. The more ways to access great film, the better off we'll all be!