By Indiewire | Indiewire June 2, 2000 at 2:0AM
DAILY NEWS: Sundance, AFI and Slumdance Explore Online Opportunities
by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE
(indieWIRE/6.2.00) -- Each day in the indieWIRE office brings an increasing
number of press releases highlighting dotcom deals. Yesterday, three
entities familiar to the indie community announced online intiatives -- the
Sundance Institute, the American Film Institute and Slumdance.
The Sundance Institute unveiled a plan which will bring its June Filmmakers
and Screenwriters Lab online. In conjunction with Salt Lake City-based
B/O/W/G Advertising, the Institute will include filmmaker and screenwriter
diaries, interviews, and photos online as the select group of attendees
participate in the Lab. The site is expected to launch today at:
"We are very excited to share the intimate lab experience with an online
audience," commented Sundance Institute Feature Film Program Founding
Director Michelle Satter, "The Web site provides an opportunity to extend
one of the most valuable resources of the lab participants -- interaction
with experienced directors, writers and actors about the process."
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, The American Film Institute (AFI) has announced a
pact with Intertainer to deliver on demand short film programming online one
a new site. The deal gives Intertainer exclusive rights to AFI's library
and will also allow the two organizations to create an "AFI-branded wesbite
for independent film artists" that will also include short by filmmakers
from around the world. The new site will be located at www.afifilm.com.
"AFI is thrilled to be working with Intertainer to build a digital
exhibition for the work of AFI filmmakers, and to build a global audience
for a new generation of digital media artists going forward," explained AFI
Director and CEO Jean Picker Firstenberg in a prepared statement, "This new
site will provide a kind of portfolio for the filmmaker and exposure within
the profession, as well as to the general film-going audience around the
world. Intertainer's new broadband service will also allow AFI to interact
directly with audiences who want fresh, original programming from the
world's most exciting and promising filmmakers."
Less mainstream is the return of Sundance alternative, Slumdance. After
three years in quiet isolation, the Slumdance experience returns, this time
online, with a four-film festival that runs now through June 12th.
"Given that most people still access the Internet with a 56K modem, we
decided to keep this first Online Festival short and sweet," explained
Slumdance founder (and director of two of the shorts) Brian Flemming in a
prepared statement, "A visitor to www.slumdance.com can attend our entire
Festival in a little over 12 minutes."
Each of the four Slumdance films is an entry in iCAST's "Three Minute Film
Contest" -- the Festival is using the iCAST site as a way to stream its
movies for free and collect them to promote viewing. With no official
involvement of iCAST in anyway.
"Sure, we happened to make our films to fit the parameters of the iCAST
Contest," commented Flemming, in a prepared defense, "Do you think we could
afford to stream films ourselves? We call ourselves Vagrants, for Christ's