BREAKING: After the backers of the Ashton Kutcher-starrer jOBS made a service distribution deal with Open Road well before that film closes Sundance, two other festival films have worked out distribution in advance of their Park City screenings. Gravitas Ventures has acquired worldwide VOD to Sound City, the documentary by Nirvana and Foo Fighters rock god Dave Grohl that features other music legends who made their careers in America’s great unsung recording studio, Sound City. Neil Young, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Trent Reznor, Lars Ulrich, and Mick Fleetwood are among those onscreen. Following its Sundance debut, the film will bow worldwide via cable, satellite, telco, online, hotel, and airline VOD operators on February 1. It’ll also get some kind of theatrical release in North America through Variance Films.
Meanwhile, Shane Carruth‘s new film Upstream Color is already set to release at New York’s IFC Center on April 5 before expanding into 20 markets as a four-wall plan and the filmmaker is doing it through his own company, erbp. Will filmmakers taking their fortunes in their own hands be a recurring theme at Sundance? Probably not. But the makers of jOBS have specific plans and plenty of money, and that made it wise for them to pledge part of the P&A and also grab control of the release strategy that will go into jOBS. As for the other films, there is a marginal market for rock docs, and Carruth’s film would also be at the mercy of specialty distributors. Why shouldn’t they take control of their own destinies? Here’s a trailer for Carruth’s pic: