TheMoviesClub, the UK co-operative set up last summer to enable movie fans to buy the rights toindependent movies, is ready to make its first acquisitions after raising $22,360 (£15,000).

The club has about 1000 shareholders who have invested about $22 (£15) each. It is planning to draw up a shortlist of ten films and will be scouting for independent films at Cannes. Members will then vote on their preferred title and the club’s first release is expected to be in October.

The initiative is being endorsed by The Co-Operative Group, the retail, travel and finance group. Andy Whittaker, co-founder of TheMoviesClub, said: “They are publicising it to their members and they have said they will make a financial donation in the future.”

Whittaker, who also runs independent UK distributor Dogwoof, admitted that it has taken longer than expected to set up TheMoviesClub and get the necessary funding.

He is already planning to expand the club’s interests into DVDs and aims to acquire up to four features a year.