Rotterdam Fest Unveils Streaming Service With Jim Jarmusch, Alexander Payne Titles

'Only Lovers Left Alive'

A depressed underground musician (Tom Hiddleston) reunites with his resilient and enigmatic lover (Tilda Swinton), but their lofty relationship is disrupted by her wild and uncontrollable younger sister, played by Mia Wasikowska. Also, they are vampires.

The platform will also feature interviews with filmmakers and access to the festival's master classes.

The Rotterdam International Film Festival (IFFR) will on Monday unveil an art house streaming service, a Netflix-style platform that includes curated auteur features from the likes of Jim Jarmusch, Alexander Payne and Andrea Arnold.

The SVOD platform, dubbed IFFR Unleashed, which had a soft launch at Rotterdam last year, features highlights from previous festival lineups, including Jarmusch's vampire drama Only Lovers Left Alive with Tilda Swinton, Payne's Oscar-nominated Nebraska and Arnold's 2011 take on the Emily Bronte classic Wuthering Heights.

Rotterdam festival director Bero Beyer is pitching the platform as a filmmaker-friendly alternative to the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime, noting that revenues generated by the service, calculated by how many minutes of individual films are screened, will be split 50/50 with rights holders.

The remaining 50 percent will be reinvested in the platform to improve the service. In addition to streaming films, the Rotterdam platform will give users access to the festival's master classes with film professionals and various filmmaker interviews conducted during the IFFR. Rotterdam is holding meetings with sales agents, rights holders and filmmakers this year to discuss collaborations with IFFR Unleashed.

The service will be available worldwide outside the U.S., but pricing will vary according to territory. Throughout the 2018 festival, which runs until Sunday, subscribers in the Benelux territories (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) can subscribe to IFFR Unleashed for $75 (60 euros) a year, with the rate rising to $112 (90 euros) annually in subsequent years. Outside the Benelux markets, IFF Unleashed will be a pay-per-view platform, with films priced at $5 (4 euros) per view inside of Europe and $4 per view outside.

Beyer said the service will target festivalgoers worldwide who want “access to the kind of quirky, unexpected, boundary pushing, brilliant content” Rotterdam screens every year. The move is also an attempt to create new distribution models for independent art house cinema, which has been hard hit by a decline in ancillary markets.

Rotterdam is no stranger to the business of filmmaking. The festival regularly handles the release, in the Netherlands, of films backed by the IFFR's Hubert Bals Fund as well as the winners of its Tiger competition.