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Hulu Secures Exclusive Rights to IFC Documentaries

27 Jan, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Hulu Jan. 27 announced a major deal with IFC Films, making the brand’s noted documentaries, including Sundance Selects and IFC Midnight, exclusively available on the subscription streaming service this fall in the pay-TV window.

The multiyear agreement expands Hulu’s pact with AMC Networks, which owns and operates IFC Films. It marks the first time IFC documentaries will be available on Hulu within the first window following their initial release in theaters and on-demand. The docs will be available to stream through Hulu Plus options for “No Commercials” ($11.99) and “Limited Commercials” ($7.99) subscription plans. The deal also grants Hulu streaming rights to future trailers for all IFC Films documentaries. 

The first doc — King Georges — releases theatrically and via electronic sellthrough Feb. 26. The doc captures Georges Perrier, the 67-year-old owner of Le Bec-Fin, one of the finest French restaurants in the country, as he prepares to sell the restaurant after more than four decades in business. 

City of Gold, which showcases Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold, hits theaters March 11. The film follows Gold as he shows audiences a Los Angeles where ethnic cooking is a kaleidoscopic portal to the mysteries of an unwieldy city and the soul of America. New Sundance Selects doc Weiner chronicles disgraced politico Anthony Weiner and his failed comeback in the New York City mayoral campaign. The film made its world premiere at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.

“Hulu is the ideal partner for first-window exhibition and will provide a terrific opportunity in promoting each film's theatrical release,” said Lisa Schwartz, EVP of distribution, operations and business development, at IFC Films.

Last year, Hulu and AMC Networks announced a deal for exclusive SVOD rights to new and upcoming scripted drama and comedy series from AMC, IFC TV, BBC America, SundanceTV and WE tv. The deal introduced Hulu Plus to 2012 Sundance Film award winner Sleepwalk With MRoom 237, the documentary film by Rodney Ascher about the perceived meaning of Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 horror film, The Shining; and Pina, the 3D-film about dance choreographer Pina Bausch.

Hulu also recently struck a deal with premium entertainment network Epix. Hulu also offers hundreds of classic, award-winning films from The Criterion Collection, as well as a larger selection of films through its distribution deal for a discounted subscription to Showtime Instant.

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