Sundance has recently developed a new program, Artist Services, to help Sundance alumni filmmakers get their work in front of audiences to help with self-distribution. At the Sundance Film Festival two documentary filmmakers, Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing, showed their film “Detropia” and when they realized they weren’t getting any distribution deal they took advantage of what the new program that Sundance had to offer.
In an article found on IndieWire it discusses one way in which the Artist Service program is beneficial for filmmakers, such as the ability to connect indie filmmakers with their fans. One way in which this program has helped filmmakers connect with their fans is from the four new technology companies known as Tugg, Vimeo, Reelhouse, and VHX, which is a new addition recently added to the Artist Service in order to help with the online marketing and distribution. This is beneficial for Sundance filmmakers, such as Grady and Ewing, to digitally make their movies available to fans because they are able to take advantage of the marketing and promotional deals Sundance has to offer, according to the article, by showcasing their films in the outlets’ user interfaces. For example, this has helped Grady and Ewing to get their documentary, “Detropia,” out to their audience through a useful source known as Netflix.
An example of a company that has helped filmmakers in the Artist Service program is the company known as Tugg. Tugg has been known to help filmmakers by allowing audiences to have the opportunity to view movies that would be viewed at Sundance by helping them choose the movies they want to see at local theaters. After a large amount of people have picked the movie they want to see Tugg then helps out by reserving the theater, distributes tickets, and provides the film. This has become a great way for audiences to see a movie provided by Sundance that they otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity to see.
As mentioned by Susan Margolin, co-president of Cinedigm Entertainment Group, she mentions, “The unique relationship with Sundance allows us to bring these important and worthy works to a broad digital audience and aids filmmakers who wish to maintain control of their films through the films’ lifecycle.” This program has been important for Sundance because it has become economically beneficial for filmmakers who wouldn’t be able to financially do this on their own.