It is very likely that a story profiling films being released via “alternative” distribution will be redundant and moot. Perhaps that will be the case very soon, but for now it is fairly new territory. With two films premiering Monday at a non-theater near you, the future is happening now. Liberation Films and Babelgum are opening Sally Potter’s “Rage” on mobile devices followed by a multi-platform release in theaters, online and DVD, while a host of non-film groups are teaming for a satellite premiere of eco-doc “The Age of Stupid” to coincide with “Climate Week” in New York City.
“Releasing a film on this scale has never happened before,” said Babelgum’s Karol Martesko-Fenster. “The entire release strategy is via mobile.” Martesko-Fenster said that the film’s director, Sally Potter, intended the film to be released via mobile technology when she conceived it. Starting today through Sunday, one “episode” of the project will be released each day with the entire film available for viewing by Sunday. “It makes sense actually, because the film was shot over seven days,” Martesko-Fenster added.
“Rage” tells the behind the scenes story of a New York fashion show through a series of interviewes shot by a schoolboy on his mobile phone.
Eco-doc “The Age of Stupid,” meanwhile, is attempting to break a world record for the largest single “screen shared” audience ever. The film will screen live from New York’s World Financial Center Monday evening to over 700 locations in 50 countries simultaneously, with the goal to reach millions. Both Moby and Radiohead lead singer Thom Yorke will participate in the event, which will be followed by a panel discussion hosted by former MTV news personality, Gideon Yago. The film is a four year epic from director Franny Armstrong, which utilizes dramatization to foreshadow decades into the future detailing a life where the warnings of climate change were not heeded. According to a release, Oscar-nominee Pete Postlethwaite (“In the Name of the Father”) plays a global archivist living in 2055 who takes audiences back through news clips and personal docu-stories fro 2004 – 2008 wondering why we didn’t stop global warming when we had a chance.
Beyond its unprecedented release, “The Age of Stupid” also came together via a unique fundraising strategy. The project received “crowd-funding,” whereby 228 people and groups invested in the film raising nearly $750,000. Each individual owns a share of the film as do the 104 crew members who all worked on the project for drastically reduced wages.