by Eugene Hernandez
Next Wave Films, the finishing funds company formed by the Independent Film
Channel, has announced the establishment of a production arm that will make
feature films on digital video. Dubbed "Agenda 2000," the division is poised to
finance and produce digital features for "wide release" according to a company
The move by Next Wave is consistent with company President Peter Broderick's
increasing focus on digital filmmaking. Broderick, along with Next Wavers
Tara Veneruso and Mark Stolaroff have been on the festival and event circuit
proclaiming the benefits of making movies digitally on low budgets. According
to the company, the initial Agenda 2000 movies will be made by "filmmakers
who have already established themselves with prior feature work."
The company confirmed yesterday that it will be focused on exploring ditribution
outlets for digital work, including cable, broadband, satellite, and the Internet.
Additionally, some of the movies are targeted to have their world premieres on
the Independent Film Channel.
1998 was a breakthrough year for digital features, with the national releases of
Thomas Vinterberg's "The Celebration" and Bennett Miller's documentary, "The
Cruise" as well as the release of Ulrike Koch's non-fiction work, "The Saltmen of
Tibet." Looking at 1999, Hal Hartley's digital work, "Book of Life," is poised for
a theatrical release, as is Paul Wagner's "Windhorse." Among other filmmakers
who have recently explored digital technology for their feature length works are
Todd Verow ("Shucking the Curve"), and Stefan Avalos & Lance Weiler, whose
"The Last Broadacast" was recently distributed theatrically via satellite.
Next Wave Films was formed as a finishing company by the Independent Film Channel
nearly two years ago, and exactly one year ago today in indieWIRE, the company
confirmed finishing funding for the Sundance '98 entry "Blood, Guts, Bullets, and Octane."
The film was ultimately acquired for theatrical release by Lions Gate. Next Wave
grabbed "The Following," which will screening at Slamdance '99, prior to its debut at
the Toronto Film Festival.
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