See Sundance From Your Sofa

If you’re like us, you’re not a the Sundance Film Festival, which opened in Park City last night. But that doesn’t mean that you’ll have to wait for months or even years to see some of the films that will be screening over the festival’s 10 days thanks to the growing alternate avenues of distribution available for filmmakers these days.

One of the most aggressive films to be working non-traditional ways of getting itself in front of audience’s eyes is the dramedy Bass Ackwards. A semi-autobiographical film written and directed by and starring Linas Phillips, it is set to be available via cable video on demand, major digital download and DVD on demand retailers February 1, the day after the festival ends. Already getting some buzz before it has even screened, the film tells the story of a man who ends a relationship with a married woman and sets off on a cross-country trip in a modified VW bus. The film will also get a regular retail DVD release later in the spring.

Also going the video on demand route are three films appearing on the Sundance Select service- Daddy Longlegs, the revenge thriller 7 Days and Michael Winterbottom and Mat Whitecross’ new documentary The Shock Doctrine. All three films should be available beginning today and for the next 30 days.

Not be outdone, YouTube will be launching their new initiative of streaming feature length films for rental with five Sundance films this today. Two of the films – Children Of Invention and the critically lauded documentary The Cove – were featured at the festival in 2009. In addition to the ubiquitous Bass Ackwards, you can catch the comedies Homewrecker and One Too Many Mornings from this year’s fest.

And even the Sundance Festival itself is being proactive about getting some of their films out to people who can’t come to Park City to see them. With their Sundance Film Festival USA program, they are bringing eight films to eight cities around the country on January 28th. Unfortunately, it is only one film per city, so if you were hoping to see the Joan Jett and The Blackhearts rock bio-pic The Runaways but live in San Francisco and not Madison, Wisconsin you are out of luck. The eight films and their respective screening venues are as follows-

  • Cyrus – Michigan Theater, Ann Arbor, MI
  • The Company Men – Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA
  • Daddy Longlegs – BAM, Brooklyn, NY
  • Jack Goes Boating – Music Box Theatre, Chicago, IL
  • Teenage Paparazzo – Downtown Independent, Los Angeles, CA
  • The Runaways – Sundance Cinemas Madison, Madison, WI
  • The Extra Man – The Belcourt Theatre, Nashville, TN
  • Howl – Sundance Kabuki Cinemas, San Francisco, CA

But no matter how you find these movies, you probably can’t do wrong with checking them out.

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About Rich Drees 7034 Articles
A film fan since he first saw that Rebel Blockade Runner fleeing the massive Imperial Star Destroyer at the tender age of 8 and a veteran freelance journalist with twenty-five years experience writing about film and pop culture. He is a member of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle.
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