Gaga grabs iFilm’s shorts

Japanese media co. buys rights to 15,000 pix

TOKYO — Gaga Communications, Japan’s most successful independent film distribution and media company, has snapped up local rights to 15,000 films owned by Internet short film pioneer iFilm.

Deal, announced Tuesday, covers all broadband distribution over the Internet in Japan, plus theatrical, video and television rights for choice films among the package. Other details of the deal have been kept under wraps. Move is in line with Gaga’s aggressive foray into broadband delivery. In June it started a pay per view service with Japan’s largest ISP and portal site, Nifty, and needs more content to ensure the success of the venture. Deal also jibes with Gaga’s aim to distribute different film genres from all over the world, a strategy it has dubbed “World Movie.”

“Broadband is the future,” president and CEO Tetsu Fujimura said, “and it starts now.”

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