Festival Direct is shortcut to unknown indies

IFC, already known for its video-on-demand offerings, is adding another VOD label to expose lesser-known festival titles to cable TV households.

Festival Direct, which debuts Feb. 29 with five titles, will be a conduit for films that won’t appear in theaters but strike IFC brass as worthy of a wider aud. The initial quintet includes Icelandic detective story “Jar City,” Ken Loach’s “It’s a Free World …,” Nicholas Roeg’s “Puffball,” William Hurt-Rita Wilson starrer “Beautiful, Ohio” and the James Franco-helmed “Good Time Max.”

“We still see a lot of movies out there that we’re not sure make sense as theatrical titles,” said IFC Entertainment prexy Jonathan Sehring. “We know that there’s an audience for these films as a supplement to our existing day-and-date program.”

IFC already handles 24-26 titles a year that are distribbed both in theaters and on VOD.

Priced at $5.99, Festival Direct titles will be available for a limited time on Time Warner, Comcast, Cablevision and Cox cable systems.

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