Indie film distributor looks to YouTube to expand scope

Indie film VOD distributor Gravitas Ventures will use YouTube to help it offer hundreds of independent titles through its branded channel GravitasVOD.

The channel will feature a wide variety of independent films sourced from award-winning filmmakers, leading worldwide markets, and festival favorites from Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, Cannes, and Toronto. YouTube users will be view content on a rental or ad-sponsored basis through the YouTube media player.

"Our own branded channel on YouTube delivers on Gravitas Ventures' mission to expand our audience reach and garner the most attention for our large pool of talented filmmakers," said Michael Murphy, SVP of Gravitas Ventures. "GravitasVOD enables our filmmakers to reach a potentially huge user base who is already accustomed to viewing streaming video online or through Web-connected devices."

More than 100 films, including American Meth narrated by Val Kilmer, Death of a Ghost Hunter, and Vols. 1-7 of the critically acclaimed documentaries series Graffiti Verite, already are available on the channel for rental or purchase, or as free, ad-sponsored streaming videos. The company said 500 films would be available by the end of the year, ranging from comedy to drama to horror.

YouTube is no stranger to indie films, having hooked up with the Sundance Film Festival this year to offer a selection of films from the festival. The partnership met with limited success.

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