VW, AtomFilms ink deal for shorts

Carmaker's site to show Netcaster's pix, starting with 'Journey'

HOLLYWOOD — Volkswagen is preparing to launch a new slogan: Viewers Wanted.

The German carmaker’s U.S. division has inked an entertainment content syndication and sponsorship deal with AtomFilms, where VW.com will broadcast 60 lifestyle-oriented short films from AtomFilms’s library over the next six months.

Specific financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but new deal provides AtomFilms with major revenues and places its online brand in front of millions of offline consumers.

VW.com’s lineup will include the 13-minute pic “The Journey,” by Eric Saperston. Film documents his experiences and people he encountered (including President Jimmy Carter and Billy Crystal) while spending eight years traveling across the U.S. in a VW bus. VW.com will exclusively feature the short in two-to-three-minute vignettes.

More shorts coming

Atom licensed “Journey” at last year’s Sundance Film Festival. Company plans to develop 12 additional shorts based on “Journey” to bow on VW.com and later on AtomFilms.com.

Other shorts picked up include Rich Kim’s “Kung Pao Chicken,” “Angry Kid” by Aardman Animations, “Bad Bosses Go to Hell” by Erin Cramer and “Blind Date” by Matt Wheeldon.

Additionally, Volkswagen will act as the presenting sponsor for Atom’s upcoming “Journey Tour,” as well as other Atom events.

College tour

The tour, which will visit college campuses across the country, combines Saperston’s “Journey” experiences with music by singer Edwin McCain.

“Volkswagen is widely recognized for creative, cutting-edge advertising that is often referred to as ‘short films with great music.’ The spirit of the VW brand embraces the creativity of independent filmmakers, like the ones at AtomFilms,” said Tesa Aragones, Volkswagen eBusiness leader.

Volkswagen has long had a relationship with AtomFilms as an advertiser, especially with its content aimed at wireless devices. Company has also sponsored the Telluride Film Festival and the New Yorker Film Festival.

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