Two British films, one documentary and one narrative thriller set for the upcoming SXSW Film Festival, will be released digitally, day and date with their premieres at the festival in Austin this month. The films will first hit broadband VOD during the event and then debut on cable VOD two weeks later.
Cinetic Right Management has acquired digital rights to David Bond's doc "Erasing David" and Justin Molotnikov's thriller "Crying With Laughter" for their FilmBuff platform and will release the films on iTunes and Amazon VOD during SXSW. After the festival, they will take the films to Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, and Cox cable providers on April 1st.
"These are two films that we believe can work for a VOD audience, and there really is no better time to introduce them to the American public," explained CRM's Matt Dentler, noting that the SXSW screenings give the films a boost in awareness.
"This is about more than just offering a film festival in your living room,'" Dentler continued, "These are still films that deserve to be seen at festivals, on the ground. But, we're doing this because we believe these films work for VOD, and there's no better time to meet that potential."
The move follows recent similar distribution strategies pegged to this year's Sundance Film Festival in January. Producer Thomas Woodrow partnered with Zipline Entertainment and New Video to release "Bass Ackwards" on VOD concurrent with the Sundance Film Festival. The film was also part of a group of movies that debuted on YouTube's new rental platform during Sundance.
Bond's "Erasing David," which considers surveillance, is described by SXSW with a question, "Just how much of our personal information is floating around in government and corporate databases? Filmmaker David Bond decides to find out, by disappearing for a month and setting two of the world’s top private investigators the task of tracking him down, using only publicly available data."
SXSW's description of Molotnikov's "Crying with Laughter," which played the Edinburgh and Rotterdam festivals, reads: "Comedian Joey’s act is drawing interest from people in high places until he tells one little gag about an old school pal, who just happens to be in the audience and things begin to unravel."
SXSW runs March 12 - 21 in Austin, TX. indieWIRE will have daily coverage.