EXCLUSIVE: U.S. art house distributor Kino Lorber is launching film and TV VOD streaming platform Kino Now, we can reveal. The service, which includes options to rent and buy, currently hosts 600 titles from the company’s catalog and includes early access to new releases. The number of titles is set to double by the end of the year.
Kino Lorber, which will unveil the platform at a stateside event this evening, tells us the service will be annually refreshed with more than 50 new theatrical releases from Kino Lorber’s first-run and repertory divisions and more than 500 yearly additional titles as “festival direct” exclusives and indie art house digital premieres.
Movies will be generally available around 30-90 days after their theatrical release but some will also get day-and-date releases. Most titles will be $9.99 or less. New releases and certain films that are considered premium will be $14.99 or $19.99 if they are day-and-date releases. Rental prices are largely $4.99 or less for seven-day rentals.
The service is currently available in North America but there are discussions afoot about potential international expansion.
The art house champion is having a strong year on the acquisitions front with recent buys including Venice title Martin Eden, Berlin winner Synonyms, Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’ Cannes Jury Prize winner Bacurau and Kantemir Balagov’s Beanpole, as well as Ken Loach’s Cannes competition tile Sorry We Missed You (in association with Zeitgeist Films). All these should be on the platform next year.
New titles coming to the service soon include Rick Alverson’s Venice 2018 title The Mountain, starring Tye Sheridan and Jeff Goldblum; Chinese auteur Bi Gan’s box office hit Long Day’s Journey into Night; Lila Avilés’ 2020 Mexico Oscar submission The Chambermaid; and climate change doc Anthropocene: The Human Epoch.
Current selections includes Abel Ferrara’s Pasolini with Willem Dafoe, and Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt’s Diamantino; new restorations of repertory re-releases, such as Frank Simon’s queer drag pic The Queen; documentaries such as Alexandra Dean’s Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story, Matt Tyrnauer’s Studio 54, and Pamela Green’s Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché; and world cinema from auteurs such as Jean-Luc Godard (Alphaville, The Image Book), Jean-Pierre Melville (Bob le Flambeur), Alain Resnais (Last Year at Marienbad); and a collection of seven films by Lina Wertmüller, the first woman nominated for the best director Oscar. Franco Rosso’s 1980s British reggae hit Babylon is also in the lineup.
For repertory lovers there are movies including Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin, F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu, silent comedies by Buster Keaton, and films from genre filmmakers such as Mario Bava, Jean Rollin and Jess Franco and Ana Lily Amirpour with A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. Docs will include Gianfranco Rosi’s Oscar-nominated Fire and Sea and Talal Derki’s Of Fathers and Sons as well as the Alive Mind Cinema catalog titles that will focus on spirituality and consciousness.
The platform will also include bundle offerings of selected hard-to-find titles and collections from renowned filmmakers. Collections include themes like Episodic Cinema featuring hit international TV series such as Deutschland 83 and Emmy-nominated Bad Banks, Documentary Series & Extended Play, including Joseph Campbell’s The Power of Myth, Auteur Collections built around world-renowned filmmakers like Jean-Luc Godard, Lina Wertmüller and Fritz Lang, and the Pioneers of Cinema restorations of the early works of African American filmmakers and the first women filmmakers.
The Playlist section will soon recommend personalized, specially curated selections that will be regularly updated, tied in with major international film festivals, holidays and cultural events. They will also be curated around themes such as Italian, French and German cinema, Hispanic Heritage, Festival Winners & Oscar Runs, Euro Horror, Director’s Spotlights, First Films, and Staff Picks.
The service will also be available on Roku and is set to be available soon on AppleTV, Amazon Fire and additional platforms.
“We’ve been leaders in building a direct to consumer business with physical media and now is the time to assert our leadership in the direct to digital space,” said Richard Lorber, president and CEO of Kino Lorber. “Our superb library will be continually enhanced by the coming of newly acclaimed and award winning theatrical releases. We believe a younger generation of cinema lovers will embrace our collection as a kind of art house iTunes with Kino Now putting at their fingertips cinema masterworks of the past and the classics of tomorrow.”