New York-based New Video and Zipline Entertainment will release the low-budget Sundance drama Bass Ackwards nationwide on February 1, one day after the festival ends.
Bass Ackwards, set to receive its world premiere later this month in the festival’s inaugural Next strand, will be made available for purchase and download via major digital retailers, cable VOD and DVD on demand on February 1.
A full retail DVD release will follow in spring featuring in-depth bonus material documenting the novel distribution strategy.
Sundance top brass are understood to be supportive of using the festival as a launch pad. Festival director John Cooper is a firm believer in timing low-budget releases as soon as possible after their world premieres to capitalise on early buzz.
Linas Phillips directed Bass Ackwards and stars as a man who embarks on a lyrical, strange and comedic cross-country journey in a modified VW bus after ending a disastrous affair with a married woman.
Sundance veteran Mark Duplass and marketing executive Marian Koltai-Levine served as executive producers and Thomas Woodrow produced.
“The partnership with New Video and Zipline Entertainment breaks new ground,” Woodrow said. “It combines a cutting-edge film with an innovative distribution vehicle – the prestigious Sundance Film Festival. It’s a new way to quickly bring the film to a broad digital audience after launching the film at the festival.”
“The title, Bass Ackwards, not only describes an offbeat and entertaining film, but also the spirit of the film-makers who are joining us on this innovative ride,” Steve Savage, co-president of New Video, said. “Together we’ll be taking a film from its festival buzz immediately to an audience who is on the pulse and want to see it now. The digital age is an exciting time in the evolution of indie film distribution with post-festival releases among the new paradigms.”
“The goal of an independent film-maker is usually to strike out on your own, without the assistance of big budgets or a big studio, and tell the story you want to tell the way you want to tell it – all the while getting as many people as possible to see your film in the process,” Duplass added. “The way Thomas has approached this alternative distribution idea for Bass Ackwardsis no different.”
Jason Janego negotiated the deal on behalf of Furnace Films and Zipline Entertainment with New Video’s vice-president of acquisitions Mark Kashden.