Altman, Sayles, other indie helmers to do promos

Landmark Theatres and the Independent Film Channel have formed a joint initiative to increase awareness of specialized film that includes cross-promotional activities and co-ventures at major media events.

The program will kick off with the companies’ sponsorship of the “Truer Than Fiction” award for documentaries at the upcoming Spirit Awards in March. The juried prize comes with a $20,000 cash incentive. In conjunction with the award, the IFC has filmed promotional spots for a contest to win tickets to the event. They will unspool on Landmark’s 140 screens beginning next week.

A spring contest promoting the cable outlet’s coverage of the Cannes Film Festival will send a Landmark patron to the event in May.

Also being prepared are a series of spots to run on Landmark circuit screens with prominent filmmakers talking about independent filmmaking. Among those lending their voices are Robert Altman, Ang Lee, John Sayles, Steven Soderbergh and Wim Wenders. The vignettes will be about one minute in length and are aimed at heightening awareness of the cabler, which has doubled its subscription base in the past year and is now available to more than 12 million households.

“The partnership has evolved quite quickly,” said Landmark marketing director Cary Jones. “We’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of joint ventures and expect to have a much broader program in place by next year.”

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