Fantastic news for films that played at the Sundance Film Festival and never got a distribution deal.  The Sundance Institute, in an arrangement with New Video, will make those lost films available for streaming online to all the big streaming players.  YouTube, Amazon, iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, and SundanceNOW will all be available to what amounts to self-publishing.  The great news is that any Sundance film not picked up in history can take part in the new deal.  Now, those hoping for a deal at Sundance are guaranteed to have some sort of distribution, even if it doesn’t make it into movie theaters or home video.

Sundance And New Video Bring Online Streaming To Movies Without Deals

The parameters of the deal include any film ever shown at the festival, ever brought to Sundance’s lab, or given a Sundance grant.  That’s a lot of potential films.  Right now, 17 filmmakers have signed up, and there is the potential for thousands more.  Anyone who chooses to go along with this can use all the streaming sites or pick and choose from the six available.

Some of the older movies that got a deal, but never saw the light of day, might have a hard time getting in on this.  Some older movies with complicated distribution deals, especially those from the 90s that never could have dreamed of online streaming, might be hard to work around.  The New York Times article interviewed Matty Rich, whose films Straight Out of Brooklyn and The Inkwell are owned by studios.  If you’re unhappy with how your old movies are being handled by studios, you’d have to buy back the rights from them.

Which brings us to another great thing about those who can use the service.  Those who use it get to keep all the rights to their films, will be able to market it and advertise it as they please, and will even get some help from Sundance if they need it.

The initiative was announced back in July, but now that this year’s Sundance Film Festival is about to kick off on January 19, it is a good reminder to those who have hopes of hitting it big at the festival and come away empty-handed.  Having your movie on those 6 sites gives you a huge potential audience, almost the entire world.