Raindance launches UK VOD platform for indie films
James R | On 24, Feb 2014
The Raindance Film Festival has launched a new UK VOD platform for indie films.
The festival, which has supported and shown indie films for just over 21 years, will aim to close a gap in the video on-demand market with RaindanceReleasing.com. While commercial giants such as Amazon and Netflix trade blockbusting blows, Raindance’s new VOD service joins the BFI Player – launched last year – as part of a growing number of services designed to shine a streaming spotlight on smaller productions.
The site will exclusively feature some of the best independent films from around the world, curated by the Raindance Film Festival team. Indeed, several of Raindance’s titles from last year’s festival have gone on to enjoy digital-only releases, including cinema comedy Cinema Six, wartime horror Outpost 11 and musical How Do You Write a Joe Schermann Song?.
“Raindance was the first film festival to launch online festival screenings way back in 2006 so it’s always been our ambition to bring our movies online to audiences year round,” says Raindance and British Independent Film Awards founder Elliot Grove.
“In today’s age of mass communication, the web and social media, every filmmaker needs a brand to stand behind them and help get their work seen. We want to use Raindance Releasing to discover, foster and promote filmmaking talent in the same way we have been doing for 21 years with our film festival and the British Independent Film Awards.”
The festival placed an emphasis on video on-demand content last year, introducing the UK’s first ever Web TV festival to its line-up, showcasing independent Internet TV shows from around the world. Now, they’ve gone one step further and launched an entire VOD platform for movies.
Films that will be released in the UK and Ireland on the site include documentaries Fall and Winter (directed by Taylor Feltner) and Disrupted (directed by Roberto Fiesco), two films from Drew Cullingham (Monk3ys and Black Smoke Rising) and previous festival titles Indebted (directed by Marton Jelinko, which premiered at Raindance 2012) and Charlie Cattrall’s jazz film Titus, which screened at Raindance 2013 and went on to be part of the London Jazz Festival last year.
The library will not stop there, though: Raindance plans to add two to three new films every month.
The site is powered by Scotland-based online distribution service Distrify, which is increasingly popular among indie filmmakers. For example, Mars, which premiered at the London Film Festival in 2011, was released on the platform this year. The service allows audiences to watch a trailer and then decide whether to purchase the film or not. Fans can also share Distrify films through social networks through the player interface.
Distrify’s CEO, Peter Gerard, comments: “Raindance has been at the forefront of independent film promotion and education for many years and its festival is known worldwide as a tastemaker. This new Distrify-powered initiative allows Raindance to curate and promote high quality independent films year-round to a passionate online audience of film lovers.”
Netflix might not be looking over their shoulde, but indie filmmakers can certainly start looking at bigger audiences. And that in itself makes Raindance Releasing a significant addition to the expanding UK VOD market.
For more information and to browse the catalogue yourself, visit www.raindancereleasing.com.