Artisan Entertainment has signed an agreement with broadband content provider Intertainer to jointly develop, produce and distribute five feature-length films to be shot and edited completely in the digital format.
Intertainer will show the films on its entertainment-on-demand service while Artisan will retain domestic rights. The features, which will have an average budget of $500,000, may receive a theatrical and/or video outing before they are web-cast on Intertainer's web-site Intertainer.com.
Intertainer carries movies, music and television programming from Warner Brothers, DreamWorks, Sony Music, ESPN, 20th Century Fox, Disney Channel and Columbia TriStar Television among others. The venture's strategic partners include Comcast, US West, Sony, Intel and NBC. Intertainer co-CEOs Jonathan Taplin has been a producer on independent films such as Mean Streets, The Last Waltz, Until The End Of The World and To Die For.
Earlier this week Microsoft announced that it had taken a minority stake in Intertainer, believed to be worth about $56m. The move enhances Microsoft's ability to deliver content, an area where it has lacked prowess to date, and bolsters its own WebTV platform which is in competition with America Online's AOL TV.