Film Threat is now taking the best of indie cinema into retail chains across North America through its Film Threat DVD line. Partnering with Niche Media Ventures (nmventures.com) to distribute 24 titles over the course of 2005, the first two Film Threat DVD titles, Glenn Rockowitz’s Hacks and Nick Clark’s The Ultimate Truth, will be in retail outlets beginning on May 31 for a SRP of $19.99 each.
Film Threat DVD is the creation of Chris Gore, founder and publisher/editor of Film Threat and an independent filmmaker himself. “I was tired of seeing great indie movies made by emerging filmmakers simply languish in the market without distribution,” says Gore, who is also celebrating Film Threat’s 20th anniversary. “There are literally thousands of these ‘Cine-Orphans,’ movies without distribution. I have the luxury of being able to see these movies by traveling to film festivals and because of tapes I receive through Film Threat. But the average consumer and even the hardcore indie movie geek won’t get to see any of them.”
Film Threat had previously distributed titles on VHS in the 1990s, most notably Jorg Buttgereit’s feature Nekromantik and Gore’s own Red starring Lawrence Tierney (which will debut on Film Threat DVD later this year). As the independent film market has evolved in the past few years, however, the quantity of titles is not matched by the opportunities for distribution. For too many smaller titles, the ability to be seen has become increasingly difficult. Film Threat DVD is designed to bring these gems to the audience attention they deserve.
“I felt the time was right for a new kind of distribution,” says Gore. “But it took me about a year to put all the elements into place and work out the details of this unusual business model. And, frankly, elements of this plan are not very smart for me since it puts most of the power in the hands of the filmmaker, as opposed to me, the distributor. However, I feel that this unique form of distribution could have a very positive effect on the industry – mainly exposing new filmmakers to audiences hungry to see the next generation of indie filmmakers.”
Hacks is a gritty mockumentary offering a fly-on-the-wall view of the Diamond and Hutz talent agency and its troubling line-up of would-be Seinfelds. The Diamond and Hutz comedy line-up consists of a sexist African-American albino, a dour wheelchair-bound moron, a woman who needs to wear a hockey mask since hostile audiences tend to throw things at her while she is performing, a celebrity impersonator who never quite finds the right voice to go with the famous name, and a weirdly silent figure who seems to be in his own world. When Diamond and Hutz secure a gig for their clients at the “Upstate Comedy Festival,” the stage is set for a comic showcase which no one will ever forget (no matter how hard they try).
The Ultimate Truth focuses on Jeda (Keir Howeld), a feckless young Australian expatriate living in rural Hampshire with his girlfriend Stacey (Keeley Mills). Jeda’s daily routine of cheap beer and bad telly is alarmingly disrupted by a chance confrontation with the arrogant and pompous Monty (Jonathan Rhodes), who makes no secret of finding Jeda lacking in many key qualities. Jeda finds that he must prove his own worth to Stacey, to Monty, and to himself. So he creates his own environmentally-friendly political party, teaming with his pals Weazel (Jackson Wright) and Tim (William Gregory) to save both the world as a whole and his own world in particular.
Upcoming Film Threat DVD titles include Ligeia, Frontier, Living in Missouri, Sorority Girls’ Revenge, Jerkbeast and The Breathing Show.