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iW NEWS | IFC Launching New VOD Fest Platform With Loach’s “Free World”

iW NEWS | IFC Launching New VOD Fest Platform With Loach's "Free World"

IFC Films has announced the launch of its second video on demand platform, this one for new films fresh from the international film festival circuit, bypassing theatrical distribution. Dubbed Festival Direct, the new service will showcase movies that have premiered at international film festivals; it will debut on February 29, 2008 with Ken Loach‘s “It’s a Free World,” described by IFC as, “a gritty thriller about a beautiful and ambitious woman who is sexually harassed and then fired from her job at a recruitment agency.” The film won writer Paul Laverty a screenplay prize at the Venice fest and also screened at the Toroto International Film Festival. “European films that find a ready audience in Europe and many other parts of the world often seem to struggle in US cinemas,” noted filmmaker Loach, in a statement from IFC. “While we can all speculate on the reason for that, the initiative by IFCE seems to me to be enterprising and bold. We hope to reach the audience that more conventional distributors ignore and widen the choice of films available to cinephiles and the general public alike.” Festival Direct will be available on-demand on cable systems including Cablevision, Cox, Time Warner, Comcast and Charter. Films will cost $5.99. Other titles set for their debuts on IFC’s Festival Direct include Baltasar Kormakur‘s “Jar City” from this year’s Telluride and Toronto fests (and Iceland’s submission for the foreign language Oscar), Nicolas Roeg‘s “Puffball,” the Galway and Montreal Film Festivals, Chad Lowe‘s “Beautiful Ohio” from AFI Fest and the Sarasota Film Festival, and James Franco‘s “Good Time Max,” from the Tribeca Film Festival. [Eugene Hernandez]

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