Sundance expands online plan

Filmmakers paid for Internet downloads

If the Sundance Film Festival can figure out how to pay for internet downloads, why not the AMPTP?

In today’s announcement of the 83 short films accepted for screening at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, the organization also noted that all filmmakers in the shorts program will be paid for Internet downloads through iTunes, Xbox LIVE and Netflix.

According to Sundance online producer Joe Beyer, some veterans of the 2007 short films program have seen revenue in the “tens of thousands of dollars,” even after iTunes and the Sundance Institute took their fees.

A download costs $1.99 through iTunes or Xbox; Netflix will make the shorts available to subscribers at no charge through its instant watching feature.

This year’s deal represents an extension of a program that Sundance launched last year, with iTunes as its exclusive download provider. Sundance first began streaming short films online in 2000. As in previous years, Sundance will also stream a selection of short films on its website free of charge during the festival.

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