You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Alternative labels thrive via DVD innovation

Threat, Sundance bring the arthouse to home theatre

As the specialty theatrical market continues to struggle for bookings against studio tentpoles, the DVD market has provided some fest favorites with their best — sometimes only — chance of reaching an audience.

Here are a few of the homevid innovators that have emerged with distribution models designed to reach arthouse auds on the small screen.

Film Threat DVD

Film Threat DVD offers filmmakers without a distrib deal a way of selling their pic through Chris Gore’s popular online zine. Filmmakers pay for DVD prep costs but keep all the rights to their work. In exchange for marketing and publicity through the site, Film Threat takes a percentage of the profits.

“We’re the best choice for filmmakers who want to self-distribute their films but need some help,” says Gore.

The Film Movement

Launched in 2002, former Shooting Gallery topper Larry Meistrich’s distribution company uses a film-series model that provides pics with simultaneous theatrical and DVD releases. For a yearly rate of $189, subscribers get one DVD per month, and a free movie ticket if they live near a cinema playing a Film Movement title.

“We’re the only distribution company that releases films on a first-run basis whose market is literally everywhere,” says Meistrich.

Had-to-be-Made Film Festival

With over 100 independent videostores nationwide on-board as locations, HTBMFF touts itself as the first year-round and nationwide film festival.

Co-founders Richard Green and Mike Kyle plan on hosting two festivals on DVD annually, each consisting of 10 features and 20 shorts. The first edition kicked off in February.

“Our whole structure is focused not on providing distribution but on providing distribution opportunities,” says Kyle. “Without taking any rights, we allow the features and shorts to find their audience.”

Sundance Home Entertainment

“We’re a hybrid between a small homevideo line based on theatrical releases and a traditional film series,” says Paola Freccero, senior VP of film programming at Sundance Channel.

Launched in September as an outgrowth of Sundance Channel’s TV programming, Sundance Home Entertainment handles titles that have bowed on the cable net and have had limited or no theatrical life.

The division recently expanded to include all of the titles from soon-to-be-launched Sundance Film Series. Freccero expects the label to release up to 12 pics per year.

A sampling of titles getting exposure on alternative DVD labels:

Film Movement

“El Bola”
“OT: Our Town”

Film Threat

“April Is My Religion”
“JAR JAR: The F! True Hollywood Story”
“Agent 15 — Volume 1”

Had-to-Be-Made Film Festival

“String Theory”
“Escape From Orion”
“Season of Youth”

Sundance Film Series

“Scotland, Pa.”
“The Sleepy Time Gal”
“The Slaughter Rule”

More Scene

  • Laurie Metcalf, John Lithgow'Hillary and Clinton'

    Why John Lithgow Worried About Starring in Broadway's 'Hillary and Clinton'

    When Lucas Hnath first conceived of “Hillary and Clinton” in 2008, he was writing for and about a very different America. Now, a total reimagining of the show has made its way to Broadway with Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow in the titular roles. At the opening on Thursday night, the cast and creatives talked [...]

  • Patrick Page, Amber Grey, Eva Noblezada,

    'Hadestown' Took 12 Years to Get to Broadway, but It's More Relevant Than Ever

    When “Hadestown” was first staged as a tiny, DIY theater project in Vermont, those involved could never have predicted that it was the start of a 12-year journey to Broadway — or how painfully relevant it would be when it arrived. At Wednesday night’s opening at the Walter Kerr Theatre, the cast and creatives discussed [...]

  • Mick Jagger

    Mick Jagger Makes First Post-Surgery Appearance at Rolling Stones Ballet Premiere

    Rock legend Mick Jagger made his first public appearance post-heart surgery on Thursday night to catch a glimpse of the world premiere of the Rolling Stones ballet “Porte Rouge.” “I hope you are going to enjoy this wonderful new ballet, and, of course, the music,” the frontman declared in a pre-recorded message to the audience [...]

  • Adam Driver appears at the curtain

    Adam Driver on Starring in 'Burn This' for a Second Time

    The Hudson Theatre’s new production of “Burn This” marks its first Broadway revival since it premiered on the Great White Way in 1987, but Adam Driver is no stranger to the work. He starred as Pale in a Juilliard production of the Lanford Wilson drama when he was still a student — and only now, [...]

  • PMC Event Rome

    Film, Fashion, Formula E Mix at Rome E-Prix Bash

    Film, fashion and Formula E auto-racing fused during a dinner and celebration of the Rome E-Prix on Thursday at the Palazzo Dama by the Piazza del Popolo in the heart of the Eternal City.  Guests mingled and sipped cocktails as hors d’oeuvres were passed around in a former home of the Italian nobility with conversation [...]

  • Katy Perry, Diane von Furstenberg, Arianna

    Katy Perry and Anita Hill Honored at the DVF Awards

    Katy Perry was among the honorees at the 10th Annual DVF Awards on Thursday night. The singer was recognized for her advocacy work with both UNICEF and the LGBTQ community. “Music has opened the doors for so many opportunities for me,” she said while accepting the inspiration award. “The ability to meet people and champion [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content