NY Times reports today that IFC Films is going to release twenty-four films this year simultaneously in theaters and on video-on-demand television. They're calling the initiative "First Take". It begins in March. HDNet's Bubble will, of course, be the first to collapse the windows. (It goes down this Friday. More on this later.) But there are two notable things about this IFC stuff.
First, IFC's slate -- for now -- doesn't appear to be made up of films that have someone like Steven Soderbergh's name attached. (And that name is important -- he's one director that has name recognition and credibility in both popular and art-film circles.) On the contrary, the films on IFC's slate might have otherwise slipped through the cracks. Included as part of the initial six are: I Am A Sex Addict (mentioned here a couple of days ago) and CSA: Confederate States of America.
Consider these quotes from IFC's Jonathan Sehring, which put the initiative in context:
So much great film has fallen by the wayside....
Foreign films are not being released, aside from Sony Classics. And low-budget American films - they're nonexistent. It's left to the really small companies, and they can't afford to take on a lot of films and get them played outside of New York and L.A.
Second point: Bubble is one film. HDNet have about nine or ten more on the way, though some haven't gone into production and some don't even have titles yet. IFC is talking about twenty-four. Of course, we'll have to see if IFC really does release twenty-four films this way this year. If so, well, things could get very interesting, very quickly.