If you're a filmmaker who has workshopped your film at the Sundance Institute labs or your film has been selected for the festival, there is a new distribution system that might appeal to you.
On July 27th, 2011 the NY Times announced an "artist services program" that the Sundance Institute has negotiated with the major online distribution outlets. Starting soon (the announcement was vague on dates) filmmakers with a Sundance pedigree can "sell and rent their movies independently via special channels on iTunes, Amazon.com, Hulu, SundanceNow.com and YouTube." According to the article by Brooks Barnes, "[p]articipants retain ownership of their films and can work with one or all of those sites, depending on whether they like the terms that Sundance has negotiated with each of them."
As faithful readers of this blog know, simply having your film in one (or more) of these channels isn't enough. You need to let people know it's there. Sundance has recognized this need - and, through a deal with Topspin Media - Sundance filmmakers can also get do-it-yourself film marketing help.
Sundance founder Robert Redford released a statement saying that the program was his non-profit's way of helping to find distribution for the growing number of films being made today with inexpensive digital cameras.
Thanks to (future Sundance?) inexpensive digital camera filmmaker Marc Casilli for the link.