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Tiscali, Dogwoof launch online pic

Consumers can download 'EMR' or buy title on DVD

LONDON — Internet service provider Tiscali U.K. has teamed with U.K. indie distrib Dogwoof Digital to provide specialized cinema via online pay-per-view.

Tiscali/Dogwoof’s launch pic is micro-budgeted Brit indie “EMR,” which is being released Friday in theaters, online and on DVD. Tiscali will offer its 600,000 U.K. broadband users the “EMR” download for £2.50 ($4.30). The DVD will retail for $22.

“The choice as to how consumers view films should rest with the consumer,” said “EMR” producer John Lentaigne. “Theatrical, DVD and Internet forms of distribution need not threaten each other and may, indeed, be mutually complementary.”

James Erskine’s directorial debut about a Londoner pursued by thugs from an evil pharmaceutical company picked up the British feature prize at the 2004 Raindance Film Festival.

Under the pact, Dogwoof will acquire less-accessible, cult cinema from martial arts to classic film noir. “We see the Internet as another film distribution channel with a lot of potential and endless possibilities,” said Dogwoof topper Andy Whittaker.

The venture continues Tiscali’s move into the film arena. The ISP has sponsored the Venice and Rotterdam fests and was active at Cannes, co-sponsoring a Directors Fortnight homage to Sam Peckinpah hosted by Turner Classic Movies and Variety. Its U.K. Web site showcases a dozen shorts from emerging talent for free each month.

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