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3 More Sundance Films Set for Immediate VOD Debut

3 More Sundance Films Set for Immediate VOD Debut

Three more films from this month’s Sundance Film Festival will have an immediate VOD debut out of this year’s event. Coming to Rainbow Media’s Sundance Selects label (run by IFC Films) during the Sundance fest are Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross’s “Shock Doctrine,” Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie’s “Daddy Longlegs” (formerly known as “Go Get Some Rosemary”), and Daniel Grau’s “Les 7 Jours du Talion” (7 Days).

The announcement comes in the wake of the recent news that Linas Philips’s “Bass Ackwards,” from the festival’s NEXT section for lower budget movies, will debut digitally the day after the festival closes.

Dubbed, “Direct from the Sundance Film Festival,” the Sundance Selects initiative will make the three films available to 40 million cable households for thirty days, starting on the day that each movie debuts at the festival.

Winterbottom and Whitecross’ “Shock Doctrine,” which screened at the Berlinale last year, is debuting in a new version at Sundance on Thurday, January 28th as part of a special “night of ideas” at the fest.

The Safdie’s “Daddy Longlegs,” starring Ronald Bronstein, was known as “Get Get Some Rosemary” when it debuted in Cannes last year. It is described as, “A swan song to excuses and responsibilities, to fatherhood and self-created experiences, and to what it’s like to be truly torn between being a child and being an adult.” Meanwhile, Grou’s “7 Days” – from Canada – is described as, “A doctor seeks revenge by kidnapping, torturing and killing the man who murdered his young daughter.” Both films will debut on VOD on Friday, January 22nd when they first screen at Sundance.

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Back in December Eugene predicted on episode 32 of Showbiz Sandbox (as well as in countless pieces here on indieWIRE) that more films would be released straight to DVD and VOD directly after major festivals. This goes to show just how right he was.

I wonder if these types of releases, even though they are only for 30 days, will affect a film’s chances of being released theatrically. Of course, maybe these films didn’t have a shot at being released theatrically and this is their best shot at distribution of some sort. It would be interesting to track the theatrical box office of a film released on DVD and VOD for a limited time before being released in theaters.

Was there any mention of what cable providers were going to be featuring the Sundance films? Hopefully Comcast, TimeWarner, Cox and Liberty will be among those who jump on the bandwagon.

– J. Sperling Reich

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