IFC raises VOD platform with help from SXSW

'Alexander,' 'Zift' among titles involved in pact

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Expanding its VOD offerings, IFC Films is partnering with the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival to present five movies on IFC Festival Direct simultaneous with their appearance at the March film festival.

Joe Swanberg's "Alexander the Last," which is having its world premiere at SXSW, will be the first film to have a fest premiere the same time it becomes available on-demand.

In addition to "Alexander," produced by Swanberg, Noah Baumbach and Anish Savjani, the other SXSW titles bound for Festival Direct are Javor Gardev's "Zift" and Matthew Newton's "Three Blind Mice" as well as two films that played SXSW last year and are set for encore screenings this year: Barry Jenkins' "Medicine for Melancholy" and Joe Maggio's "Paper Covers Rock."

IFC Entertainment president Jonathan Sehring unveiled several other initiatives Monday at the Sundance Film Festival.

They included several new acquisitions for Festival Direct: Gerardo Naranjo's "I'm Gonna Explode," Francois Ozon's "Angel," Denys Arcand's "Days of Darkness," Philippe Garrel's "Frontier of Dawn," Amos Gitai's "Disengagement" and Hong Sang Soo's "Night and Day."

The lineup will be further bolstered by three English-language indie titles: Oliver Irving's "How to Be," a comedy starring "Twilight's" Robert Pattinson; Spencer Parsons' "I'll Come Running"; and Vito Rocco's British comedy "Faintheart."

IFC also is creating a new label within Festival Direct, IFC Midnight, to spotlight international genre cinema. Its initial slate includes Duane Graves and Justin Meeks' "The Wild Man of Navidad," Thomas Vincent's "The Protocol," Carolyn Miller's chiller "Still Waters," Mark Tonderai's "Hush," Bernard Rose's "The Kreutzer Sonata," Pablo Proenza's "Dark Mirror" and Laurence Trillings' "Group Sex."

On Wednesday, IFC in Theaters will launch its VOD engagements of Steven Soderbergh's "Che." The four-hour-plus film, which has grossed more than $500,000 theatrically in limited roadshow engagements in the U.S., will be offered in two parts.