Amazon Prime Video’s expansion into indie films continued today when the online giant began streaming fifteen films from the 2017 Sundance Film Festival (SFF). The dramas and documentaries bring the number of independent films Amazon Prime members can watch to seventy-six.
“We launched the Film Festival Stars Program at Sundance earlier this year because we heard from our customers they love watching independent films,” Eric Orme, the head of Amazon Video Direct, said in the press release.
The Film Festival Stars Program gives filmmakers an extra avenue for getting their work in front of audiences. Most people cannot attend film festivals or indie films’ limited screenings. Amazon opens up the world to filmmakers.
Richard Lorber, who heads film distributor Kino Lorber, explained: “It’s an innovative strategy that allows specialty film distributors like us to amplify support for the worthiest films.”
Amazon’s global ambitions for indie films are still in their early stages. Amazon Prime Video is available in more than two hundred countries and territories. Yet only two of the fifteen Sundance films are available to Amazon’s customers worldwide: Guatemalan documentary 500 Years and Chinese documentary Plastic China.
As Orme explained, that will be changing. “We’ll be extending Film Festival Stars to the 2018 Sundance Film Festival with an emphasis on global distribution and enhanced bonuses for filmmakers.”