Content studio Gunpowder & Sky is launching a free-to-stream channel on Roku devices for DUST — its content division dedicated to edgy sci-fi entertainment — stocked with films, TV shows and original short films.
The new channel, DUSTx, will be free to access on Roku and the programming will carry ads, which will be sold by Roku. G&S promises it will be a destination for “mind-expanding science fiction that explores the future of humanity through the lens of science and technology.” DUSTx will be available on all Roku devices starting Aug. 18.
DUST, which debuted in November 2016, now has more than 2 million online followers. G&S has launched channels for the sci-fi brand on YouTube, Facebook, VRV, Pluto TV and Xumo.
DUSTx is available initially only on Roku, but G&S is in distribution talks with other partners. At launch, the channel will include about 20 films, 30 series and 200 of its best short films. The lineup includes DUST short films including “Bad Peter,” starring Frankie Shaw (“SMILF”); “Rise,” starring the late Anton Yelchin (“Star Trek” films, “Taken”); and “Jonah,” starring Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out,” “Black Mirror”).
Licensed films on DUSTx are set to include “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” the time-traveling comedy starring Keanu Reeves; “Paycheck,” the sci-fi action film based on Philip K. Dick’s short story, starring Ben Affleck; “A Scanner Darkly,” Richard Linklater’s 2006 animated sci-fi thriller based on Philip K. Dick’s novel of the same name. TV shows featured on the channel include “Beyond Westworld,” the 1980 series based on Michael Crichton’s original “Westworld” film; and “Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K),” cult-favorite comedy series created by Joel Hodgson.
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“Since DUST’s inception, our mission has been to build a contemporary sci-fi brand,” said Floris Bauer, co-founder and president of Gunpowder & Sky. “Having our own premium channel and launching DUSTx marks a natural and significant next step in the evolution of the brand.”
L.A.-based Gunpowder & Sky was formed in late 2015 by Bauer (previously head of global strategy at Endemol), Van Toffler (former CEO of Viacom Media Networks Music Group), and Otter Media, a joint venture of AT&T and the Chernin Group.
This news comes on the heels of DUST’s announcement that it has partnered with Lionsgate and the directors of the feature film “Kin” to create a sci-fi short-movie competition called “Kin x Dust, as well as the acquisition of Zeek Earl and Chris Caldwell’s sci-fi western Prospect, DUST’s first feature film which premiered at SXSW to critical acclaim and is set to debut theatrically later this year. Additionally, DUST’s sci-fi short, Bad Peter, starring Golden-Globe nominated Frankie Shaw (“SMILF”), was an official selection at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
DUST most recently premiered the Zach Strauss-directed short film “Bad Peter” at the Tribeca Film Festival and acquired “Prospect,” starring Pedro Pascal (“Narcos,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Equalizer 2”), which premiered at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival.
Through a partnership with USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, DUST late last year premiered George Lucas’ 1967 short film, “Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB,” followed by Robert Zemeckis’ 1972 student short “The Lift.” DUST also hosts podcasts and special events such as “The Future Is Female” screening celebrating female sci-fi directors in film.
Gunpowder & Sky operates as a full production and distribution studio and oversees a library of over 1,500 titles. It acquired independent film distributor FilmBuff in 2016.
Watch the sizzle reel for DUSTx: