Blockbuster, AtomFilms pact

Short Takes to include 'Judgement,' 'Puppies,' 'Creature' pics

HOLLYWOOD — AtomFilms is expected to announce today a content distribution deal with Blockbuster.com to include the Netcaster’s short films on the vidstore rental giant’s Web site.

The companies will launch Short Takes on each of their sites that will feature five new live action and animated short films each week and more than 20 archived films, many of which were acquired at the Cannes and Sundance film festivals.

Titles to be showcased include “Judgment,” starring Matthew McConaughey, Clarence Thomas III and Illeana Douglas; “Puppies for Sale” with Jack Lemmon; and Oscar-winning “Creature Comforts.” The companies will likely split advertising revenues.

Deal furthers Blockbuster’s attempts to expand its entertainment offerings beyond its rental stores and boost traffic to its own Web site. It has already inked a vidrental distribution deal with digital video recorder TiVo, which next week begins showing short films from Netcaster iFilm.

Through the pact, AtomFilms also benefits with the chance to position its brand in front of Blockbuster’s millions of viewers, who may or may not have visited AtomFilms before.

“Providing our customers with streaming video on the Short Takes site is just one component of Blockbuster’s growing digital content business,” said Shellye Archambeau, prexy of e-commerce for Blockbuster. “The alliance with AtomFilms strengthens Blockbuster’s support of the independent film industry and provides our customers with free access to view these unique short films.”

“The talent behind the independent film industry is deep but sometimes goes unseen,” said Heather Redman, senior veep, strategy and development, at AtomFilms. “The development of Short Takes on blockbuster.com provides independent filmmakers with an online venue for consumers to view their films.”

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