The 39th edition of Montreal’s Festival du nouveau cinema (FNC), Canada’s oldest film festival, will launch the country’s first simultaneous VOD screenings as well as a co-production website for the industry.
“It’s important to be at the avant-garde in this industry,” FNC co-director Nicolas Girard-Belpruc told Screen. “And it’s important for us to be there in the beginning—to explore all the new platforms and use them to promote the cinema. Ultimately cinema is about image and movement, but things keep changing and we hope we will always continue to be at the vanguard.”
A condensed version of the FNC (ten feature films and 10 short films) will be made available for rental to millions of subscribers to telco giant Videotron’s illico services for three months beginning Oct 10. The films will be available on cable through illico Digital TV and on cell phones through illico mobile. The features will cost C$4.99 ($4.94) per view and the shorts 99¢ (97¢). All proceeds will be paid directly by Videotron to the rights holders.
The FNC initiative is intended to bring greater cinematic diversity to more people, particularly in the regions, and develop new audiences for independent film.
FNC is also launching Canada’s “first participatory co-production website” (www.touscoprod.ca) with support from federal funding agency Telefilm Canada.
Anyone can invest amounts from $10 to $100 online toward films in development or pre-production. From now on, every year the FNC will select three films to host on its website that are directly connected to the service. This year the selected projects are Xavier Dolan’s Laurence Anyways and 3D documentary Les ailes de Johnny May, by Marc Fafard. The third film will be announced during the festival.
Another new industry initiative — aimed exclusively at professionals - is FestivalScope, the first internet platform to provide online access to the line-ups of film festivals around the world. The titles in the FNC’s international competition and the Temps Zéro and Focus Québec/Canada sections will also be available for viewing by festival programmers and international buyers.
This year, in addition to its new website and previous links to social media such as Facebook and Twitter, the FNC will be online through its first iPhone app. And media professionals will be able to watch films in the line-up through a videotape library set up for the occasion at the National Film Board of Canada’s automated Cinerotheque.