CinemaNow inks Microsoft, iBeam to get technology, distrib'n

Trimark’s ‘Net venture CinemaNow has fired up its Web site, pacting with Microsoft and online media distrib iBeam.

CinemaNow’s on-demand film content, including several “The Blair Witch Project” spoofs and 400 Hong Kong-based pics, will be Webcast via Microsoft’s broadband technology and iBeam’s distribution network.

CinemaNow also announced pacts with Internet tech providers Encoding.com and Xceed.

Just in time for its launch, CinemaNow has also locked up streaming rights to “News From the West,” a collection of 13 shorts by edgy filmmakers Chamber of Poets.

Now equipped with a full online entertainment slate and ‘Net streaming technology, CinemaNow will be competing with leading film Webcasters iFilm and AtomFilms.

“AtomFilms and iFilm are doing a great job,” CinemaNow CEO Curt Marvis said. “But they have just scratched the surface. … Trimark has been in the independent film distribution business for years — we have a proven track record for distributing films that aren’t attached to studios.”

CinemaNow is broken up into five components: Watch, a film-screening area; Make, a virtual studio set where pic submissions can be sent; Win, a movie trivia contest section; Talk and Why, a site comment area; and Buy, an e-commerce store offering DVDs and homevideos.

“The most exciting part of the new venture is that we’re offering a whole arena of new outlets for filmmakers,” Marvis added. “And it’s just the beginning.”

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