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Monday, June 09, 2008

Reframe: Making rare films available online

re:frame launches today - an effort to digitize important and rare movies and make them available as DVDs or digital downloads. It's an initiative of the Tribeca Film Institute, and the partner for delivering the downloads and DVDs is

The NY Times writes:

    The approximately 500 works initially available range from the works of the filmmaker Sally Potter, beginning with her 1979 short “Thriller,” to collections of little-known documentaries from various archives. Some of those will be available to purchase only on DVD, because rights are controlled by commercial distributors. But the service aims to provide about 10,000 works over the next year or so and expects to make as many as possible accessible on the Web.

IndieWire explains:

    [Tribeca Film Institute director] Brian Newman emphasized that Reframe is meant to be highly curated so that it can offer, "quality content." While that's a "slippery term," he reiterated that Reframe is not for user-submitted "YouTube films."

    As for the ambitious goal of hitting 10,000 titles in its first year, Brian Newman is optimistic. "It's a goal, not set in stone, but I think it's feasible."

And the Hollywood Reporter explains some of the details of the deal for filmmakers/rights-holders:

    The nonprofit TFI and copyright holders will split the profit on digital download rentals and purchases (distributed in Windows Media Player format) evenly. DVD sales will operate under a tiered system, with 40% of $50 and under titles, 85% of $51-$200 titles and 90% of more than $200 titles going to rights holders. More expensive titles will be aimed at the educational market looking for classroom materials, though rentals in the $4 range, lasting anywhere from 36 hours-30 days, are accessible to all visitors. Buyers must have an Amazon account to make purchases.

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