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Sundance Expands Streaming Deals

27 Jul, 2011 By: Chris Tribbey

Sundance Institute, the nonprofit organization advancing the work of independent filmmakers, significantly boosted the outlets for its films July 26, opening up access to iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube and SundanceNOW.

New Video will serve as the exclusive aggregation partner, while Sundance Institute will provide marketing and support.

“When I founded the Institute in 1981, it was at a time when a few studios ran the industry and an artist’s biggest concern was whether their film would get made,” actor Robert Redford, founder and president of Sundance Institute, said in a statement. “Technology has lessened that burden, but the big challenge today is how audiences can see these films. [This] program is a direct response to that need. We’re not in the distribution business; we’re in the business of helping independent voices be heard.”

Two 2011 Sundance Film Festival selections will be among the first to benefit from the deal: Connected: An Autoblogography about Love, Death & Technology, which premiered in the U.S. Documentary Competition, and On the Ice, which premiered in the U.S. Narrative Competition section. Other films expected to appear via the new outlets include Jess + Moss, Lord Byron, New Low, Obselidia, The Oregonian, Space Tourists and The Woods.

“By acting as a conduit between filmmaker and distributor, we are presenting an alternative to traditional distribution while building knowledge about online distribution strategies that will benefit the broader field of independent film,” said Keri Putnam, executive director of the Sundance Institute. “We’ve worked with these leaders in online distribution to make it easier for filmmakers to present their work to the widest audiences possible.”

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