Cinegroup ups ante on local filmmaking

Canuck company pioneers platofrm-as-studio model

VANCOUVER — Canada’s CineCoup wants to change how films are packaged, marketed, financed and distributed.

The new platform-as-studio model will be unveiled at the Vancouver Film Festival on Thursday.

A partnership between Cineplex and CineCoup CEO and founder J. Joly, a digital media veteran, with backing from GrowLab, CineCoup is looking to serve as an online film accelerator.

In its pilot stage, CineCoup will provide $1 million funding for at least one film, as well as a guaranteed theatrical release at Cineplex theaters next fall.

Leveraging social media, the platform will allow audiences to become active participants and support projects throughout their development.

CineCoup is looking for “filmmaker entrepreneurs” to apply in teams of three with their feature concept. To apply, filmmakers will need to submit a two-minute trailer for their project, which will appear on the CineCoup website, along with a marketing-social strategy, which will only be seen by CineCoup.

Each week, there will be a new video challenge issued that will allow filmmakers to come up with their own creative solutions — all while building a fan-base.

The unconventional application process is designed to develop and package the concept while building audiences early.

The first “mission” will be to introduce the team and project to the audience. “If you can market yourself,” said Joly, “you can market your picture.”

Joly hopes that the process will result in a sort of ‘social army’ backing the project, ultimately leading to crowd funding on top of CineCoup financing.

The platform will officially launch at the Whistler Film Festival (Nov.28-Dec. 2) before eventually moving into the U.S., U.K. and Australia in 2013.