Film Movement Launches VOD Channel

NEW YORK North American cinema distribution company Film Movement has launched the Film Festival Channel, a free video-on-demand destination that is supported by ads from Stella Artois.

Cox, Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast Washington State Market, Mediacom, Armstrong and Bresnan Communications will carry the new channel.

FFC will carry award-winning, independent and foreign films from festivals including Cannes, Venice, Toronto, Berlin, Sundance and Tribeca. Each month FFC will show four feature-length films and four shorts.

Film Movement launched a VOD channel because film festivals are “exploding by the day,” said Meghan Wurtz, svp, Film Movement. “There are hundreds of film festivals in the U.S. now. With cable, it’s becoming more localized. It’s not just about the international festivals anymore. Here, at home, this is becoming a huge deal, and there is an audience for it.”

In terms of the lead sponsor, Wurtz said Stella Artois, a Belgian beer maker and one of the most recognized brands in Europe, was the perfect fit. “Their creative is really in line with our brand. Their commercials resemble short films. Also, their creative is done out of Europe, which is good because we are promoting European films, so we really thought it was a good fit,” she said.

In addition to being a sponsor, Stella Artois will do some pre-roll advertising. A Stella Artois representative did not return a call.

Film Movement is looking for additional sponsors to support the channel and will sign two more by the end of the year. While Wurtz declined to provide details on which companies Film Movement is pursuing, she said it is seeking sponsors from outside the beverage sector to avoid any conflict with Stella Artois and its U.S. distributor, Anheuser Busch. Pre- and post-roll advertising is also available for future advertisers, said Wurtz.