Los Angeles, CA — Keri Putnam, Executive Director of Sundance Institute, today announced that the Institute’s Artist Services program – which provides Institute artists with exclusive opportunities for creative self-distribution, marketing and financing solutions for their work – has expanded to include selected films supported by one foundation and five nonprofit organizations. Additionally, these organizations will join with Sundance Institute in continuing to shape the program and the services it offers.
The Bertha Foundation, BRITDOC, Cinereach, Film Independent, the Independent Filmmaker Project and the San Francisco Film Society will each select films that they have supported to receive access to best-in-class digital distribution arrangements that have been negotiated by Sundance Institute Artist Services. These services are targeted for filmmakers who intend to pursue an independent release plan. In support of these filmmakers, the Institute will curate submitted films and work closely each organization, the filmmakers, and exclusive aggregation partner Cinedigm – New Video to develop independent distribution strategies. Furthermore, each organization will work with the Institute to expand educational opportunities to their alumni building on the model of the Artist Services Workshop that takes place each year during the Sundance Film Festival.
“Now more than ever filmmakers need to be creative and entrepreneurial in order to get their stories to audiences. Sundance Institute embraces cross-organizational collaboration in an effort to increase the collective impact on the field; it is in this spirit that we welcome the input of our colleagues to further help us shape the Artist Services program, “ said Putnam. ”Our hope is that it contributes to the long-term sustainability of independent film careers and a greater diversity of films reaching audiences each year.”
With the addition of new partners Tugg, Reelhouse, VHX, and Vimeo, Sundance Institute is expanding its suite of digital platforms and tools offered by Artist Services. Current partners include ten digital retailers as well as Kickstarter , GoWatchIt, and Topspin Media. Tugg is a web-platform that allows filmmakers and fans to create screening events at their local theater. Direct-to-fan platforms Reelhouse, VHX and Vimeo, like longtime Artist Services collaborator Topspin Media, will work with Sundance Institute and its interested supported filmmakers to develop opportunities to sell their films and merchandise directly to end users. All four new partners will participate in the annual Artist Services Workshop on Monday, January 21, at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Since the Artist Services program launched in January 2011, more than $3.2 million has been raised for nearly 100 Institute artists’ projects via Kickstarter and more than 40 films are now accessible by the public on a variety of platforms and storefronts.
The exclusive aggregation partner for distribution participating in the Artist Services program is Cinedigm – New Video. The Artist Services initiative is made possible by The Bertha Foundation. These deals were brokered via pro bono legal services generously provided by law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP, which has built the legal framework for the Artist Services program and participating filmmakers since its inception.