The London riots have ended, but the chaos has only begun for the country's independent film distributors. That's where The Other Cinema has stepped in.
Headed by one of the affected labels, Dogwoof, The Other Cinema is a website that helps viewers find digital versions of their movies in the absence of DVDs, most of which were destroyed in the fire that decimated the Sony DVD distribution center that contained the physical stock for many of Britain's indie film distribution labels.
The digital mapping is more than thoughtful utility; as The Other Cinema points out, digital demand can make the difference in whether some of these companies find the cash flow to survive.
There's also some heart-sinking details about exactly who lost what. Among the titles that appear to have been wiped out are "Restrepo" (Dogwoof), "Gasland" (Dogwoof), "Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives" (New Wave Films) and "Life Above All" (Pecca Pics). And Today's blog entry points out that High Flier Films and Scanbox Entertainment alone lost about $320,000 UK in DVD stocks.
Per The Other Cinema:
The subsequent loss of income and cash flow problems that this act of mindless vandalism will bring about may well be enough to push many of the smaller operators out of business.
Our aim is to try and rally the film industry, and the public, and see if we can help those affected through the tough times ahead.
The site also includes a blog, links to the six impacted indie distributors (along with their Twitter accounts), recent stories about the riot and its aftermath and this statement of purpose:
We’re co-ordinating a series of activities to help the independent film labels affected by the fire at the SonyDADC plant in Enfield, London.
The Other Cinema was setup [sic] to help and support independent film distributors affected by the Sony DADC Warehouse fire, caused by the recent London Riots. The aim is to Encourage you and your friends to watch some great films and support the small independents affected most by the fire which destroyed all of the DVDs.
Support independent film distributors, and support some great filmmakers, and have a great time in doing so.
Good for the films, good for the filmmakers, good for you.
Follow The Other Cinema here.