By Jay A. Fernandez | Indiewire June 18, 2012 at 6:47PM
Several U.K.-related stories broke Monday, including a licensing deal between BSkyB and Miramax and a new partnership between Distrify and the BFI Production Board Collection. The upshot is that the Brits will have access to many more American and British independent films on a greater variety of platforms.
Under their new deal, U.K. and Ireland TV service BSkyB will have exclusive rights to a collection of Miramax films — “Life Is Beautiful,” “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” and “Spy Kids” among them — delivered across HD subscription channels, the on-demand service Sky Anytime+ and the mobile Sky Go.
“We are very pleased to add our award-winning and beloved films to the Sky lineup, ensuring that Sky subscribers will continue to have access to the best that independent cinema and Hollywood have to offer,” said Danny Goldman, Miramax senior VP and head of sales, Europe. “The entertainment appeal of Sky continues to grow, and we are excited to be in business with the Sky Movies team.”
The Distrify-BFI deal involves creating an online platform where viewers can see a portion of the 300 films BFI co-funded between 1950 and 2000, plus short films the organization acquired. Among the classics represented are films from Alfred Hitchcock, Peter Greenaway, Derek Jarman and Terence Davies.
“Rediscovering such wonderful classics is fantastic but it is the unseen films that really got our attention,” says Distrify co-founder Andy Green. “As we started to look through the BFI catalogue it felt like we had found a lost treasure trove of wonderful British and world cinema that audiences would like to rediscover, or discover for the first time.”
Distrify’s direct-to-fan online model uses Sharing Rewards tools to encourage film fans to build curated collections, share them and earn money for doing so. LGBT distributor Wolfe Video’s recently launched WolfeOnDemand.com platform uses Distrify.
“The BFI is delighted to able to use Distrify’s innovative platform and online sales tools to offer our back catalogue of features and shorts worldwide to today’s audiences,”said Peter Fydler, BFI’s head of B2B.