AFM 2011: Freestyle Digital Media Launches Digital, Cable, Service Provider VOD Platform

The new arm of Freestyle Releasing is kicking off with "The Nutcracker in 3D" and "Nativity," followed by "In My Sleep" and "Sarah Palin: You Betcha!"

Independent theatrical distribution firm Freestyle Releasing on Wednesday, the opening day of AFM, unveiled the launch of Freestyle Digital Media, a new business offering a digital, cable and service provider VOD platform. 

It said the digital platform is designed to boost revenue for independent filmmakers as it improves "marketing efficiencies of day-and-date theatrical and optimizes returns from direct-to-video releases to all major channels thru VOD/electronic sell-through on all connected devices and services."

In addition, the company is offering distribution of DVDs for retail rentals, kiosks and by-mail services, subscription streaming services, pay TV and specialty markets (airlines, hotels, cruises).

Freestyle Releasing co-founder Susan Jackson will oversee day-to-day operations of the new company.

“We felt it was imperative to be able to offer our content partners a direct channel to the expanding multi-screen ecosystem to enable the growth of their digital distribution business by optimizing revenues from every IP VOD channel, plus include rental kiosks, streaming subscriptions and the DVD market,” Jackson said. “We are thrilled to be able to release films day-and-date in theaters on the same day as they launch on the iTunes store, on Amazon Instant Video, on Dish Networks, the YouTube Movie Store and Android mobile devices, and all other cable and Internet VOD services.”

FDM is launching with a slate that includes The Nutcracker in 3D and Nativity, which became available as of Tuesday, and thriller In My Sleep, as well as Sarah Palin: You Betcha! from documentarian Nick Broomfield, who gives people the unauthorized story behind Palin. The two latter movies are available as of Nov. 8.

The company will announce additional titles for its slate, which it said will include "a variety of high-quality specialty fare and big-budget, commercially broad films," later.

FDM will supply film and TV content for the platform using cloud-based technologies. 

Jackson's partners in FDM are Steve Harnsberger, executive vp of business development and formerly vp of Sonic Solutions, and Mark Borde, FDM’s executive vp of theatrical distribution.


Twitter: @georgszalai