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US indies launch SVoD service

Eight independent film distributors in the US have banded together to supply content to a fledgling subscription VoD service.

OVID.tv launches in the US today and seeks to offer a “dedicated space” for independent documentaries and feature films.

It will offer more than 350 art house, documentary and social issue films from its founding content partners Bullfrog Films, The dGenerate Films Collection, Distrib Films US, First Run Features, Grasshopper Film, Icarus Films, KimStim and Women Make Movies.

Its arrival comes “in the face of the paradox of booming SVoD companies (Netflix, Amazon, Hulu) spending millions at festivals like Sundance, yet diminishing space and falling revenues for most independent documentaries and feature films,” the company said.

It will feature works by filmmakers such as Chantal Akerman, John Akomfrah, Patricio Guzman, Heddy Honigmann, Anne Makepeace, Chris Marker, Ross McElwee, Bill Morrison, Jean Rouch, Wang Bing and Travis Wilkerson.

Fiction feature films available include I, Anna, starring Charlotte Rampling and Gabriel Byrne; the Japanese horror film Creepy, by Kiyoshi Kurosawa; The Widowed Witch, by Cai Chengjie; and Shoehei Imamura’s 1967 feature A Man Vanishes.

New films will be added approximately every two weeks. Fourteen movies and one 10-part docuseries are scheduled for release between now and April 5, the company said.

OVID.tv director Jonathan Miller said: “In the face of ever consolidating forces, the goal of OVID.tv is to preserve opportunities for independent films and alternative voices and visions in the culture. Not only for those compelled to make these films but, even more importantly, for audiences who value them and will, we hope, search them out by supporting and subscribing to OVID.tv.”

New subscribers are offered a free seven-day trial period, after which the service costs US$6.99 a month or US$69.99 annually. OVID.tv is currently only available in the US, but a Canadian launch is planned for later in the year.

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