Indie Thriller Finds Its Audience at

Another heartening example of online indie movie distribution success has been spied by Fast Company contributor Jenni Miller.

In this case, the filmmaker is Justin Eugene Evans, the movie is the 1972-set espionage drama A Lonely Place for Dying, and the savior is online portal, which encourages viewers to make different levels of cash donations. Evans came to his new arrangement after somewhat surprising dealings with Hollywood:

Even with Oscar-nominated star James Cromwell (pictured) and the buzz-generating blitz of 39 film festivals, the filmmakers struggled to lock in a distribution deal. “We were approached by independent distributors and just about every top sales agent and rep in Los Angeles,” says Evans, but the deals, he claims, were so lopsided in favor of the distributor, he and his investors wouldn’t make a dime.

In just a few weeks, after being chopped up into five segments, A Lonely Place for Dying‘s first installment has been downloaded more than 700,000 times. The final online portion of the movie will be posted on the heels of an upcoming limited theatrical release.