Here’s an interesting experiment: As it looks to analyze the viability of day-and-date theatrical and VOD releasing, the EU is coughing up over $1M in P&A and marketing costs for the near-simultaneous release of four films in at least five territories each over the next year. The project is supported by the likes of Oscar winning director Michel Hazanavicius, president of France’s writers, directors and producers group, ARP, which is a partner. But the scheme has also met with opposition – notably in France – where the industry is concerned about cannibalization.
The first title to go out under the TIDE Experiment, one of three initiatives given grants by the EU as part of its “Circulation of European films in the digital era” action, is music documentary Viramundo: A Journey With Gilberto Gil. Announced this week, the movie begins its rollout in ten territories in May. ARP’s Lucie Girre explains that the program works like this: TIDE’s four partner sales companies – France’s Urban Distribution, Italy’s Fandango Portobello, the UK’s Goldcrest Films International and France’s Wide – each put forth a title to participate (Viramundo is Urban’s). Distributors from across Europe then decide if they want to join in on the proposed title’s day-and-date VOD/theatrical release with aggregator Under the Milky Way guaranteeing VOD distribution on Sony, iTunes and other platforms. The EU foots the bill for P&A and transversal marketing via subsidy and box office reverts to the rights holders in the usual fashion (more…)