Sundance offers distribution "safety net" for its alumni

John Anderson at the New York Times:

a wormhole has opened up between Sundance Past and the Online Present. Through it, films seemingly lost in time — or swallowed up by the gaping maw of bad distribution deals, or no distribution deals — might find commercial redemption.

Thanks to a recent arrangement between the Sundance Institute, which operates the festival, and the Manhattan distributor New Video, six Web homes — Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, iTunes, YouTube and SundanceNOW — are making Mr. Noonan’s movie, and any other eligible Sundance film, available for streaming online. The option is open to every film ever shown at the festival, or brought to a Sundance lab, or given a Sundance grant. Filmmakers don’t surrender their rights. They (17 so far, with thousands of potential participants) can opt to go with any or all of the half-dozen sites. They have, in essence, a guaranteed means of distribution.

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