Amazon Upping Indie Film Compensation

Amazon Jan. 11 announced it is nearly doubling compensation to independent movies and documentaries participating in the Amazon Video Direct Film Festival Stars platform.

The program, which affords creators direct access to millions of Prime members through streaming video, paid out $5.8 million in one-time bonuses to more than 100 titles from the 2017 Toronto Film Festival.

Content included City of Toronto Award winner for Best Canadian First Feature Film, Luk’Luk’l, Toronto Platform Prize winner, Félécite, and Oscar shortlisted for documentary feature, Ex Libris – The New York Public Library.

The program, which doubled Toronto Film Festival cash bonuses, will be offered for this month’s 2018 Sundance Film Festival.

Specifically, Sundance participants could get one-time payments of $150,000 for movie premiers and $120,000 for documentary premiers, among other compensation.

Citing distribution challenges for short films, Amazon is also bowing a FFS Short Film program at Sundance, similar to a campaign launched at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2017.

Amazon also established a $50,000 cash bonus pool for official selection Sundance short films to be shared among the five most-streamed short films offered by Amazon Video Direct from Oct. 1 – Dec. 31, 2018.

“Amazon’s FFS program is a much-needed breath of fresh air for … independent and foreign language,” Jon Gerrans, co-president, Strand Releasing, said in a statement. “We know the audience still exists for these films and … curated FFS programming is helping to connect that audience around the world with these wonderful films.”

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