By Eugene Hernandez | Indiewire October 13, 2009 at 6:9AM
Two months after debuting at the Toronto International Film Festival, Chris Smith's new documentary, "Collapse," will hit theaters and VOD simultaneously. Cinetic has brokered a deal with Vitagraph to launch the film in theaters next month, putting the doc on Cinetic's new FilmBuff cable VOD channel at the same time.
Comprised of an extended interview with alarmist soothsayer Michael Ruppert, the film features gloomy talk on the future of society in the wake of the economic collapse that the former police officer apparently predicted (via his self-published newsletter).
"Collapse" will open at New York's Angelika Film Center on November 6th and then expand further through Landmark's art house theater chain on December 4th.
Smith and Cinetic's swift strategy means they are forgoing a traditional acquisition deal in favor of putting the film in front of audiences quickly, as well as keeping control of the rights to the film. A DVD release plan has yet to be determined.
"The film had such great word of mouth at Toronto that we immediately began looking for ways to get the film to the biggest audience in the shortest amount of time possible," Smith said, in a statement. The director of such docs as "American Job," "American Movie," "Home Movie," "The Yes Men" added, "After considering many options, it quickly became clear that working with [Vitagraph's] David Shultz and [Cinetic's] John Sloss was the most innovative and exciting way to release this film."
Kinosmith in Canada will release "Collapse" in November after the of the U.S. debut.
"Fittingly set in some sparely lit subterranean basement, where Ruppert smokes cigarettes like some noir protagonist trapped and under interrogation, "Collapse" is composed entirely of the former LAPD officer and journalist talking, mainly about the inevitable end of society as we know it because of the planet’s limited resources," wrote Anthony Kaufman, covering the film for indieWIRE at the Toronto fest. "The film moves along briskly, with plenty of illustrative archival footage and Ruppert’s emphatic, arrogant and angry way with words. This is a man who has little doubt about his convictions ("There is no such thing as clean coal"; "ethanol is a complete joke"; "I don’t deal with conspiracy theories," he says, "I deal with conspiracy fact.")
Launched on July 15th, FilmBuff is a new cable VOD outlet run by Cinetic Rights Management and also the brand for its placement of films on broadband sites such as iTunes, Hulu, Amazon VOD, Netflix Watch Instantly, SnagFilms and others. The cable VOD channel is available via Verizon FIOS, Cox, Charter and other systems, with more to be added through the end of the year.