1. Hal Hartley: Hal Hartley recently turned to Kickstarter to raise funds for his latest film, the third in a trilogy that began with "Henry Fool." He's raising the stakes with a new, groundbreaking backer reward -- the theatrical distribution rights to his film. For $3,000 you can distribute the film in Greece and for fees up to $9,000, you can distribute the film in any number of countries, including Israel, France, Spain and Russia. Distribution rights to the U.S. have already been snapped up for $9,000. We'll see if this catches on as a way to sell distribution rights up front. Keep your eyes peeled. Read more about it here.
2. iTunes Store: Each Monday we present you with the most up-to-date list of the top 10 (indie) movies in the iTunes store (combining rentals and purchases). "Blackfish" once again tops the indies chart this week and also ranks #1 among documentaries and #13 among movies overall in the iTunes store. New titles making the indie list this week include Claude Miller's "Therese," starring Audrey Tatou, and docs "Bridegroom" and "More Than Honey." See the full list here.
3. Cinedigm: Cinedigm announced today that distributor Open Road Films has become the launch partner for their newly released "Distributor 3.0" platform, a new software system that provides film distributors with features to facilitate distribution of digital content to theaters. Read the full announcement here. "Homefront," released on Thanksgiving Day will be the first film to use the new platform.
4. Pay it Forward: Distrify and Scottish Documentary Institute announced at IDFA (International Documentary Festival Amsterdam) that Distrify is launching a unique film-gifting scheme, Pay-it-Forward, which which allows people to see films for free thanks to gifts from friends or strangers. This new option is an extension of the online distributor's "portable fundraiser" project -- a collaboration with Scottish Documentary Institute with backing from Nesta. The first film to use the gifting scheme is the documentary "Future My Love," directed by Maja Borg. Learn more about "Pay-it-Forward" here.
5. "Next Time on Lonny:" Maker Studios has partnered with Ben Stiller's production company Red Hour Films for season 2 of YouTube's "Next Time on Lonny," Variety reports. Maker Studios will produce and distribute the reality TV spoof, which was created and produced independently by Alex Anfanger and Dan Schimpf and distributed on YouTube. Maker will distribute the second season, which will premiere in early 2014.