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Arthouse companies form portal

Spanish indies to sell pics online

Seven key Spanish arthouse film companies, including Pedro and Agustin Almodovar’s El Deseo, have teamed to create Filmin.es, an ambitious Internet movie portal aimed at the indie film community.

Launch is scheduled for March, with Filmin offering options including download-to-own, download-to-rent, streaming view and a DVD store.

Shareholders in the new site also include Gerardo Herrero’s Tornasol Films and Pancho Casal’s Continental, as well as arthouse distributors Alta Films, Golem, Vertigo, Wanda Vision and DVD distrib Cameo.

Headed by general manager Juan Carlos Tous, Cameo — a successful joint venture owned by these same specialty producers and distribs apart from Vertigo — is the driving force behind Filmin.

Valencia-based e-commerce firm Demini is Filmin’s tech partner.

“Our dream is for Filmin to become the top indie and auteur portal in the Spanish-language. Our partners already distribute 75% of films of these types,” Filmin head of contents Jaume Ripoll told Daily Variety.

The online store wants to host approximately 250 new releases and library film titles by the end of 2008.

Filmin aims to incorporate film productions from third-party rights holders to consolidate the site as a definitive Spanish film auteur’s virtual home, offering a legal alternative to rampant online piracy in Spain.

It will also present short films and documentaries, allowing filmmakers to upload their own docs and fiction works, on a split rights basis.

Portal will include extras such as making-ofs, trailers, blogs, interviews, outtakes, news and reviews. Filmin will create an online job hunt service for the film industry.

Catalonia’s Escac film and audiovisual school will collaborate with Filmin, on, for example, uploading students’ short films.

“Beyond being a virtual shop, Filmin has to lay the foundation for a community that will offer services that previously could only be found on, and distributed by, foreign portals,” Ripoll said.

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