VOD, indie film distributors team for day-and-date strategy

Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 12-03-2012

A new collaboration between Gravitas Ventures and Viariance Films will allow coordinated 'day and date' releases in leading movie theaters with simultaneous digital release into over 100 million North American homes.
The collaboration between the largest independent video-on-demand (VOD) distributor and independent theatrical distributor will see the two concerns acquire and co-release seven or eight independent films per year in theaters across the U.S. and Canada and on VOD with over 100 cable, satellite, telco and online VOD operators. This new distribution offering will allow filmmakers a comprehensive turn-key distribution solution in two areas of the independent film world, theatrical and digital, that have shown year-over-year growth.
Beginning at this year's SXSW Film Festival, Gravitas and Variance will utilise their acquisitions teams to seek out the best independent, documentary and foreign films that will benefit from a day and date theatrical/VOD release. While both companies will continue to acquire films separately for their individual slates, the companies expect to be making joint offers on select SXSW titles.
Utilizing a P&A fund created by Gravitas, the films and filmmakers chosen for this release strategy will benefit from working with specialists while retaining their key long-term rights, instead of surrendering them for 15-20 years to a traditional distributor. Variance will execute a theatrical release using the aggressive combination of grassroots, outreach, and traditional marketing it's become known for, while Gravitas will window and merchandize the film across VOD operators to maximize the financial success in the digital realm.
The non-exclusive initiative between the two companies is a natural extension of a relationship built over the last two years covering over a dozen films. Previous titles where Variance has handled theatrical and Gravitas has handled VOD include SXSW favorite American: The Bill Hicks Story as well as renowned titles Amigo, Ip Man, Ip Man 2: Legend of the Grandmaster, Until the Light Takes Us, Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen, The Lottery, White on Rice, Passport to Love and De Mai Tinh (Fool For Love).
"In recent years, consumers have resoundingly shown their willingness to watch more independent films both in theaters and in an on-demand setting. We are thrilled to acquire and co-release with Variance Films in particular because both of our companies have a proven track record of helping to set films apart from the crowd," says Nolan Gallagher, Founder and CEO of Gravitas Ventures, in a statement.