DROWN continues to make waves with release plans

February 2015

Aust filmmaker’s social media distribution

  • MEGAN NEIL
  • AAP
  • FEBRUARY 23, 2015 4:08PM

INDEPENDENT filmmaker Dean Francis is looking to social media to get his new movie Drown into Australian cinemas.

MR Francis has distribution deals in America, the UK and Europe but he is using a cinema-on-demand platform, Tugg, instead of the traditional film distribution model to get Drown onto local screens.

“The take-up internationally has been really enthusiastic and fantastic,” the Australian director and producer told AAP.”Here in this country I think there’s a sense in which it’s quite hard to market a film that is actually as edgy as our film.”I don’t know whether it’s just that it’s potentially perceived as a gay film, although that’s certainly not its only focus, or whether it’s that we’re just saying something that’s maybe a bit uncomfortable for the distributors to feel like they can push to audiences.”Traditionally distributors control what movies are shown on the big screen but with Tugg anyone can act as a distributor by organising a screening at a cinema – provided they get 60 people to pre-buy tickets.Mr Francis said the film, which explores issues such as gay people in sport and one-punch violence, has gained enormous traction on social media and is doing well using the cinema-on-demand model.He said the partnering of Tugg, which has been operating in the US for three years, with Australian film distributor Leap Frog Films was a “golden opportunity” for a film like Drown.Unlike his first feature Road Train, Mr Francis opted to bypass traditional film funding bodies for Drown.”On this particular project we opted to go down the path of doing this as a very low budget film that would rely on the support of the community both financially and in terms of people actually working on the film for the love of it basically.”Set in a fictitious Sydney surf life saving club, Drown initially used a crowd funding model – Kickstarter – which raised $15,000 with the social media traction and publicity then helping draw in private investors.Mr Francis would not disclose the cash budget but said it “just scrapped up” to the $500,000 threshold for producer offset tax incentive.Despite its R rating in Australia, a 900-seat screening sold out in a week for its premiere at Sydney’s Mardi Gras film festival next month, with a second screening almost sold out.Mr Francis is hope for more than 150 screenings in Australia and New Zealand via Tugg.”That would be a really good figure that would mean we had a screen average that would put us in the more successful films that will be coming out this year,” he said.

Source:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/breaking-news/aust-filmmakers-social-media-distribution/story-fni0xqe4-1227235817514


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