UK-based sales agent Protagonist Pictures has signed a pioneering “manufacture on demand” DVD deal with Createspace for the US.

It will make more than 50 vintage titles from the Film4 catalogue available to American consumers. The deal will include titles such as Shekhar Kapur’s The Bandit Queen, Pat O’Connor’s A Month In The Country, Mike Leigh’s Life Is Sweet, Mike Newell’s SourSweet and Alan Clarke’s Rita, Sue and Bob Too. They will be packaged as part of a branded Film4 Collection.

Nada Cirjanic, head of library sales at Protagonist, said: “We have a huge library. This is a really cost-effective and viable way of reaching potential buyers. This is a way for us to do the best we can for all the films in our library that are cleared and available for use.”

The DVDs will retail at between $15 and $20. To recoup its set-up costs, Protagonist said it only needs to sell around 20 copies of each film. 

“The idea behind this also is that by making these films directly available in the marketplace, we deliver the best possible returns to the films’ investors. It also means we can accrue a pot of money to remaster these films to high definition,” Cirjanic said.

To date, about 40% of the Film4 library, which dates back to the launch of the channel in 1982, has been remastered.

Createspace, which was acquired by Amazon in 2005, manufactures products when they are ordered so no pre-inventory stock is needed. It also provides content to Amazon’s Video On Demand.