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By Film Threat Staff | May 31, 2006

With the goal of bringing quality independent entertainment and programming to live audiences nationwide, MySpace has teamed with specialty independent film distributor Bside Entertainment and leading festival consultants Right Angle Studios to present the “Bside Roadshow.” The touring film and music festival will kick off on June 4 with a large, free outdoor show in downtown Austin. “We’re pleased to be working with MySpace and hope to help grow a film community as powerful as the one they’ve created for music,” explains Bside CEO Chris Hyams. “We expect as many as 10,000 people to attend the June tour, many of whom will be new to the world of independent entertainment.” The Roadshow is a major step in Bside’s ongoing efforts to support alternative film distribution.

The Bside Roadshow will open up the indie genre to younger audiences – namely college students and tastemakers in Austin, Ann Arbor, Minneapolis, Madison, Philadelphia, Boulder, Portland and Boston. In addition to presenting a short and feature film at each venue, the tour will showcase a series of regional MySpace bands whose sounds range from alternative to hip-hop, rock to reggae. Feature films participating in June’s inaugural Bside Roadshow include:

“Before the Music Dies” – an eye-opening documentary exploring the music industry’s abandonment of artists and fans in its single-minded pursuit of corporate profits. The film, which premiered to sold-out audiences at the South by Southwest Film Festival, presents interviews and performances by artists such as Dave Matthews, Erykah Badu, and Eric Clapton.

“Quality of Life” – an award winning drama surrounding the relationship of two friends facing the prospect of doing hard time for graffiti writing in San Francisco. This film, currently in the midst of successful self-distribution, won the MySpace audience choice award and has set the bar for maximizing exposure on the site with unsurpassed graphics, blogging and outreach.

“The Outdoorsman: Blood, Sweat and Beers” – an outrageous docu-comedy that follows a group of friends in the Pacific Northwest who compete each year in all-day event combining physical challenges with high-speed beer chugging. The first success of Bside’s alternative distribution program, the film has played to packed audiences from Tribeca to Anchorage.

MySpace will promote the Bside Roadshow to projected audiences of over 30 million throughout June by linking to film trailers and downloads of the emerging artists to be showcased at each event, providing a marketing boost that will aid filmmakers in their distribution efforts. “With events such as the Roadshow, combined with Bside’s festival community efforts, we look forward to building alternative distribution models for indie filmmakers. These films have proven themselves to selected audiences. They deserve a chance to reach a broader community,” says Right Angle president Jon Fitzgerald.

For more info, visit the Bside Roadshow MySpace page.

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