by Eugene Hernandez
October 23, 1998 will be a date for the record books. Not only will it
mark the first theatrical release of an all-digital film by a major
distributor (with Artisan’s release of Bennett Miller’s documentary, “The
Cruise“), but is is also the day that Stefan Avalos and Lance Weiler’s
digital feature “The Last Broadcast” will be beamed live to arthouse
theaters nationally via satellite. Avalos and Weiler recently formed
Wavelength Releasing with producer Esther Robinson (The Fuel Tour, “Home
Page“) to distribute their movie in this unique way and the trio have also
announced a partnership with the Independent Film Channel to distribute the
movie via on-demand high-speed broadband Internet technology later this
The IFC partnership was announced publicly by company new media manager Tom
Hall during an indieWIRE-sponsored IFFM seminar about film marketing and
distribution on the Internet this weekend. Hall confirmed that this will
be the IFC’s first video-on-demand film release via broadband technology
(high-speed internet access via cable modems) — “The Last Broadcast” will
debut on the IFC’s broadband site on November 15, 1998 at 8 p.m. reaching
over 250,000 North American homes.
The Wavelength trio have lined up five theaters for next month’s satellite
premiere — the Cable Car Cinema in Providence, RI; the Enzian Theater in
Orlando, FL; the International House in Philadephia, PA; The Hollywood
theater in Portland, OR; and the Bell Museum Theater in Minneapolis, MN.
Each theater will be equipped with state of the art digital projection
technology for the screenings. The movie will run for a week in Providence,
Philadelphia, and Portland, while it will run for the weekend in Orlando
and Minneapolis. The group hope to release the movie via satellite to
additional theaters in March.
Hailed last year as “the first desktop feature film,” Avalos and Weiler’s
“The Last Broadcast” was produced for $900.00 with a variety of digital
camera technology and desktop non-linear editing software. It has played
digitally at numerous film festivals, including the Austin’s CONDUIT
festival, as well as the Chicago Underground Film Festival where it won the
Best Feature Film Silver Prize. The filmmakers describe their movie as “a
who-dunit that details a filmmaker’s search for the killer of three
television personalities murdered in a remote forest during a live
Tech sponsors on board for the historic satellite broadcast are CYBERSTAR–
A Loral Company, and Digital Projection Inc. in conjunction with Digital
Light Processing (DLP) technologies provided by Texas Instruments.
Additional sponsorship for the release is being provided by the IFC, The
Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers (AIVF) and indieWIRE.
[For more information about “The Last Broadcast,” visit their website at: