Icon and FrightFest sign exclusive digital distribution deal
James R | On 13, Apr 2015
Icon Film Distribution (IFD) and FrightFest have entered into an exclusive partnership that will see IFD releasing FrightFest curated films on VOD.
The horror fantasy film festival, which takes over Leicester Square every August, will lend its brand to the digital label, with the titles released under the banner “FrightFest Presents”.
Select FrightFest-endorsed films will be made available across the UK and Ireland via IFD’s digital partners, including Sky, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, blinkbox, Film4OD, Virgin Movies, TalkTalk, Google Play, Volta, and Eircom.
The deal was negotiated by Zak Brilliant, Head of Theatrical, and Sophie Wong, TV and Digital Sales Manager, for Icon, and Greg Day and Ian Rattray, Directors of FrightFest, with the aim of giving fans instant access to titles.
We’ve written at length about the way that video on-demand is changing the horror industry. It’s a genre that is well suited to the streaming world, with independent site TheHorrorShow.tv enjoying strong success since its launch in 2013.
“Fans love to discover new films (or old ones they’ve not seen before) and the instant access VOD provides means they can usually find and watch a film they’re curious about in under 90 minutes,” David Hughes, founder of the site, told us.
Paul McEvoy, Co-Director of FrightFest, comments: “In expanding the FrightFest brand we are opening up new audiences for horror and fantasy, a genre which already has a clear, devoted and almost fanatical fan base. With Icon as our partner and using their distribution channels, we are looking forward to talking to producers and sales companies about how FrightFest can get their films to more film fans.”
FrightFest titles have increasingly made their way to online platforms, either soon after their premiere at the festival or often day-and-date alongside later releases. Indeed, TheHorrorShow.tv is active when it comes to acquisitions during the event. Last year, alongside theatrical screenings of 63 horror films from around the world, the festival also premiered its short films in the Shortcuts To Hell competition online, expanding its reach nationwide.
IFD has a similarly longstanding track record in releasing genre films, from breakout hit Paranormal Activity )which grossed £10 million at the UK box office) to the cult vampire thriller 30 Days of Night. Most recently, IFD released It Follows, as well as The Babadook, which burst out of FrightFest’s August festival to become one of the most talked about horrors of the past year.
“Icon has always had a strong relationship with the FrightFest team, never more so than over the past 12 months when they, and their supporters, have been an integral part of our launches for The Guest, The Babadook and It Follows,” adds Ian Dawson, Icon Film Distribution CEO. “We have long admired their commitment to genre and the loyal community they have built up over the years. This partnership offers a great opportunity to work together behind new and exciting content, taking it to the widest possible audience.”
Select titles for the joint venture will be announced over the coming weeks.