SAN SEBASTIAN – In a new international thrust from Spain, a group of enterprising young directors and movie execs are launching Feelmakers, a new international VOD web portal specializing in animation, documentaries and shorts from around the world.
Feelmakers has been online since early 2014. Its full-blooded launch has begun, however, just before vthe 62nd San Sebastian Festival where a industry/press presentation was headed by Feelmakers development head Millan Velazquez. Also on hand: Distinguished helmers Gracia Querejeta, director of Spain’s 2013 Foreign-Language Oscar entry “15 Years and One Day,” and Javier Rebollo, a triple San Sebastian winner, taking Best Director for “Woman Without Piano” in 2012.
Further presentations will be made at Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival, Europe’s best-known short film event, and at December’s Ventana Sur, Latin America’s biggest movie market.
The first VOD service dates back to the mid ‘90s. What sets Feelmakers apart from most services is its international scope: Almost all of its catalogue can be seen can be seen anywhere in the world.
That comes with the contents, and Feelmakers backers. Feelmakers offers three international channels: Docu feed FeelDocs; FeelShorts, for short formats, and animation-focused FeelToons.
“It seemed to us to be basic to have rights for the whole world, which is impossible with features and TV drama but very possible with the content we handle, above all shorts and documentaries,” said Luis Collar.
Feelmakers is backed by Great Ways, and culure management agency, film/commercials production house Nephlim, and sales/festival distribution company Freak, headed by Millan Vazquez. Together, they have experience in the production, distribution, sales and festival organization of docu, short or animation films or events.
One essential aim of Feelmakers was to expand the market for legal online content to a general public that is quickly becoming more accustomed to new technology and to paying to watch high-quality films via streaming, thanks to now fashionable VOD services, such as Canal Plus’ Yomvi.
The site currently has a catalogue of nearly 400 films from different countries that can be seen throughout the world.
These include, just from Spain, films by Querejeta, Rebollo and some leading lights of Spain’s youngest – and most Daniel Sanchez Arevalo, Borja Cobeaga, Elias León Siminiani, Eduardo Chapero Jackson and David Planell.
Feelmakers also offers to exploit the rights to most of the films it plays in remaining channels of exhibition.
Current highlights, as Feelmakers fully launches, include . documentary feature films “Asier eta Bioc” (Aitor and Amaia Merino, 2013) and “Pura Vida” (Pablo Iraburu, Migeltxo Molina, 2012) –both winners of the Irizar Award for Basque Cinema from the San Sebastian Film Festival-, “Familystrip,” from Barcelona’s Cannes Palme d’Or winning producer-turned-director Lluis Miñarro, 2009; the short film “Aquel no era yo,” (Esteban Crespo, 2013), which was nominated for an Oscar-; and 2010 animated feature “Animals United, helmed by Reinhard Klooss, Holger Tappe, 2010), a breakout international hit for Constantin, and nominated for best film in its category at the European Film Awards.
Some 50% of the 400 catalogue titles are currently Spanish-language, said Collar. That percentage will fall as Feelmakers acceses more international titles. “The aim is for Spanish-world content to mark us apart while the portal is thoroughly international,” he added.