YouTube’s New Screening Room (Free Indie Films)

YouTube just launched its new “Screen­ing Room,” and there’s a good chance that the Sun­dance Film Fes­ti­val will nev­er quite be the same again.

The Screen­ing Room presents high qual­i­ty, inde­pen­dent films to YouTube users and promis­es to roll out four new films every two weeks. Giv­en YouTube’s immense reach, these indies will imme­di­ate­ly find a vast inter­na­tion­al audi­ence. Then, to sweet­en the deal even fur­ther, YouTube will offer film­mak­ers a major cut of the adver­tis­ing rev­enue gen­er­at­ed by the view­ing of each video. Plus, hard and dig­i­tal copies of the films can be sold as well. If this new ven­ture gains trac­tion (and you have to think it will), YouTube could sud­den­ly find itself the cen­ter of grav­i­ty for the indie world, dis­plac­ing Sun­dance along the way.

The first four films fea­tured in The Screen­ing Room are hard­ly duds. The Dan­ish Poet won the 2007 Oscar for best ani­mat­ed short; Love and War won the same award at the Los Ange­les Film Fes­ti­val; Our Time Is Up got an Oscar nom­i­na­tion in 2006; and then there’s Miran­da July’s “Are You the Favorite Per­son of Any­body?. The next batch of films comes out July 4. For more info, see this piece in the LA Times.

Adden­dum: I have since stum­bled upon this video that promotes/tells you more about the Screen­ing Room.

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