'Heaven' sent to U.K. cinemas, VOD


LONDON -- Satcaster British Sky Broadcasting and distributor-exhibitor Curzon Artificial Eye said Thursday that they will release Cannes award winner "The Edge of Heaven" day-and-date in cinemas and on Sky's video-on-demand Sky Box Office simultaneously Feb. 22.

The move is the first time the satcaster has teamed up with a distributor for a joint launch, and is intended to maximize the potential audience for an art house title that might otherwise fail to pull in audiences.

Directed by Fatih Akin ("Head-On"), "Heaven" will be released theatrically in Curzon and City Screen cinemas and simultaneously be made available to 8.7 million Sky subscribers via Sky Box Office and via PC-based transactional VOD service Sky Anytime.

"It is often the case with non-Hollywood titles that many cinemagoers are aware of the film's release but don't have access to a cinema showing it. This deal means they will now have the opportunity to see it on release," said Philip Knatchbull, CEO of Curzon Artificial Eye.

Ian Lewis, director of Sky Movies, said: "We're always looking for ways of improving our service for our customers, so we're excited to be working with Artificial Eye to pioneer this new form of film distribution."

"Heaven," which follows the emotional journeys of four Turks and two Germans, was named best screenplay at 2007's Festival de Cannes and the European Film Awards.