New Art Documentary Disc, VOD Label Launched17 Jan, 2012 By: Erik Gruenwedel
The Cinema Guild Jan. 17 launched a new genre unit called SPARK, aimed at distributing documentaries.
The first releases include Everyday Sunshine: The Story of Fishbone, the raucous history of the pioneering all-black rock band Fishbone, and The Woman with the Five Elephants, winner of the Sterling Award at Silverdocs, a documentary that unravels the mystery behind the life and work of the world’s greatest translator of Russian literature. Both titles will be available Feb. 21 for $29.95 each.
New York-based The Cinema Guild distributes independent, foreign films and docs. Previous releases include Jeff Malmberg's Marwencol, Manoel de Oliveira's The Strange Case of Angelica and Matt Porterfield's Putty Hill.
“There's a great demand for docs that tell compelling, inspiring stories about creativity and ingenuity and people who've enriched our lives and culture,” said Ryan Krivoshey, director of distribution. “With SPARK, we're going to find the best of these films and make them accessible to people wherever they want to watch them — home video, Web, mobile, etc.”
Indeed, in a market inundated by streaming options, viewers of arthouse films apparently prefer disc, notably Blu-ray Disc, according to Peter Kelly, senior sales associate with Cinema Guild.
“Since we started our home video line several years ago, people have really responded to our DVD and Blu-ray releases,” Kelly said, adding the unit plans to release between six and eight titles this year and increase to 12 in 2013.