Cinedigm Joins With New Video to Buy, Release Independent Films

Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp., the software and services supplier for digital movie projection, formed a partnership with New Video Group Inc. to buy and distribute independent films in theaters, online and on discs.

The companies plan to distribute about one film a month initially, Cinedigm Chief Executive Officer Chris McGurk said in an interview. They may increase the number to two films monthly after a couple of years, he said.

The venture would help fill a void created by the major studios’ focus on bigger-budget films and series based on books, comics and television shows. The companies, shopping for acquisitions at the Sundance Film Festival this week, will compete for titles with distributors including IFC Films, Weinstein Co. and Sony Pictures Classics, McGurk said.

“There is a glut of independent product that is available,” McGurk said. “Independent filmmakers and agents are being much more flexible about the deals they are doing now. You don’t have filmmakers clamoring they have to have a 1,000-screen release. They’re much more willing to do a smart platform release.”

Cinedigm, based in Morristown, New Jersey, will handle the theatrical releases using its satellite-based system to distribute films to theaters equipped with digital projectors.

New York-based New Video, an independent distributor that works with cable networks and Internet services such as Hulu LLC and Netflix Inc., will release the movies to homes online, through video-on-demand and on DVD, Steve Savage, the closely held company’s co-president, said in an interview.

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