Curzon and Birds Eye View announce “Ultra VOD” premiere for In Bloom – on UK VOD before cinema release
James R | On 02, Apr 2014
Birds Eye View and Curzon Home Cinema have announced an “Ultra VOD” UK Premiere for the film In Bloom. Whatever that means.
So, what is “Ultra VOD”? In short, it’s a term someone invented for the release of a film on VOD before it is released in cinemas.
The Epic of Everest last year enjoyed a similar simultaneous VOD premiere and festival screening, launching on both the BFI Player and other platforms and at the London Film Festival on Friday 18th October. However, the film was also released in cinemas on the same day, making In Bloom’s festival and VOD premiere at the Birds Eye View Film Festival one of the first in the UK to see an on-demand release ahead of theatrical distribution. (The Borderlands earlier this month did the same thing.)
But that is not the only thing that sets apart the Birds Eye View Film Festival, which celebrates and supports international women filmmakers – a response to the fact that, when BEV was founded, 94 per cent of films distributed were made by men.
The Curzon Artificial Eye title In Bloom is this year’s opening film, showing at BFI Southbank on Tuesday 8th April while also premiering online through Curzon Home Cinema and BT TV. The film will then be released in cinemas on the 2nd May.
Set against the troubled backdrop of civil war in early nineties post-Soviet Georgia, In Bloom follows the lives of two inseparable 14-year-old friends as they learn to deal with the new world around them.
The premiere also kicks off a partnership for a month-long online season of work by the world’s most exciting female filmmakers, showing on Curzon Home Cinema as part of Birds Eye View’s year-round efforts to showcase the best women in film for a wider national audience. Birds Eye View’s first move into online film distribution will see three new films licenced from past and present festivals.
“Ultra VOD” is already a successful distribution model in the US. Brian De Palma’s Redacted and Gareth Evan’s Monsters were two of the first films to make use of the platform for pre-cinema releases. With the increasing appetite audiences have shown for seeking out distinctive new online content through VOD platforms, it also offers a way forward to develop audiences for independent film.
Kate Gerova, Creative Director of Birds Eye View, said: “Film festival audiences take chances on unknown films and this project examines whether their passion and enthusiasm for a film can be captured to drive opening weekend audiences. Working in partnership with Curzon Home Cinema and Artificial Eye we are able to curate audiences’ film journey through the Birds Eye View Film Festival and Ultra VOD premiere to raise visibility of the film and increase audiences for inspiring independent cinema.”
Director of Curzon Home Cinema, Phil Mordecai has said: “We are delighted to be able to bring Curzon customers this Ultra VOD title. This marks the start of a new exciting way of releasing films in the UK and Curzon Home Cinema is proud to be part of bringing this excellent title to audiences in an innovative way. We look forward to featuring more Ultra VOD titles on the new Curzon Home Cinema site which will launch later in the year.”