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DVD Subscription Service Bows Airline Film Festival

27 Jul, 2004 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Film Movement, a New York-based DVD subscription service, together with production company IKA Media in August will launch an in-flight channel aboard Continental Airlines featuring first-run independent films.

The channel, “Continental Presents Independent Film,” will showcase monthly one film selected by Film Movement that simultaneously is available to subscribers and in select theaters.

“We have combined the theatrical and DVD release at the same time to broaden a film's access to multiple distribution channels,” said Larry Meistrich, CEO of Film Movement.

Movement, which launched in January 2003 with the Spanish film El Bola and claims a catalog of 24 award winners from various film festivals, including Cannes, Sundance, Telluride and Toronto, allows subscribers ($19.95 monthly; $199 annually) to keep the films permanently.

“You get a DVD to own that includes director's commentary, a separate short film, trailers, film club discussion guide, consultation on scripts and movies, and the ability to e-mail a film's cast and crew,” Meistrich said. “If the movie is playing theatrically in your area, we will buy your movie ticket. You can go to the Web site and print up a ticket.”

Meistrich said IKA, which produces in-flight entertainment, was looking to do something unique and, coupled with Movement's lack of formal relationships with aftermarkets such as cable or pay-per-view, helped drive the relationship.

“We are really trying to build an audience as much as release individual films,” Meistrich said. “There's no shortage of films to choose from.”

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