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Indie Can Fly Solo With DVD

14 Sep, 2005 By: Jessica Wolf

'Shaye & Kiki'

While many smaller independents like Palm Pictures position themselves under bigger and better-funded umbrellas such as Universal Music and Video Distribution, Indican Pictures is taking the opposite tack.

For five years, the company has been releasing independent films theatrically, then partnering with bigger distribution companies for the home entertainment release.

This fall, the company will begin releasing its slate of mostly arthouse films to DVD under its own label.

It's as much about dollars and cents as it is about care and feeding the product, said Indican VP Randolph Kret.

Cutting out the middle men not only ensures more profit for his company and the producers of its films, but also provides Indican the chance to service retail accounts directly with promotional materials, Kret said.

However, it hasn't been an easy transition, he said.

“Surprisingly for us, Wal-Mart is really good,” Kret said. “We've been having a harder time with Blockbuster and Hollywood. Getting them to order more than one copy is rough, unless, frankly, it's a horror film — then they'll buy 10 copies.”

Indican is virtually all DVD, limiting videocassettes to its few family films. The company prides itself on its special features:

  • Shaye & Kiki (street Oct. 25): The DVD for this animated fantasy includes nearly 50 Easter eggs.

  • Carlos Castañeda (Nov. 11): This disc has a special password and Web link to rare field notes written by the transcendental author in the 1970s.

  • Pariah (July 11, 2006): A crime drama Kret directed in 1998, Pariah stars Dave Oren Ward, an up-and-coming actor who was stabbed to death in West Hollywood not long after filming the movie. The subsequent trial was major news in the city, and the Pariah DVD includes extensive interviews with a Premiere magazine reporter who closely followed the case.

  • Coming up in May 2006 is Indican's release of Pure, starring Keira Knightley, which is already getting a lot of attention from big retail accounts thanks to the rising star, Kret said.

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