Partnership gives release to films like 'Mooz-lum'

In what could be a significant boon for some independent filmmakers on the distribution front, AMC Theaters and Eventful have partnered with the creators of feature “Mooz-lum” to distribute the film using the online Demand It program.

Eventful, a digital media company specializing in local entertainment and live events, will start promoting the pic today.

As part of the straight-to-exhib deal, AMC has agreed to screen “Mooz-lum” — the story of a college-age Muslim forced to face his past after 9/11 — for a limited U.S. theatrical run starting Feb. 11. Pic will play in 10 AMC cities, determined by which markets receive the most votes from Demand It’s 20 million users.

Deal reps a potentially important development in the indie world as the filmmakers — “Mooz-lum” helmer Qasim Basir and producer Dana Offenbach — won’t need a traditional distribution deal to release a pic. But not all films will fit the Demand It mold, said Eventful’s reps.

Eventful worked on a similar Demand It-style campaign for Paramount’s “Paranormal Activity” franchise and has had an agreement with AMC since then to determine independent direct-to-exhib opportunities.

“The difference between this movie and ‘Paranormal’ is that the latter had distribution, with Paramount marketing behind it,” said Paul Ramirez, veepee of operations for Eventful. “?’Mooz-lum’ didn’t have a distribution or marketing team; they had a movie.”

Eventful first approached the filmmakers in September after the “Mooz-lum” Facebook page, using the Demand It application, became one of Eventful’s most trafficked sites. Eventful will front the pic’s marketing campaign through a combination of viral schemes and targeted online messaging; AMC will handle in-theater promotions.

Offenbach said: “We’re excited that AMC and Eventful support our film and have found a way to bring it to audiences that have been waiting to see it.”

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