DAFilms Expands VoD Reach Across the Globe

    Sacro GRA by Gianfranco Rosi Sacro GRA by Gianfranco Rosi

    DAFilms.com continues to bring new trends into the VoD distribution with participation of the audience and film production delivered by citizen-interactive film journalism

    In nearly the ten years of its existence, the DAFilms.com portal has managed to introduce 1,700 films to viewers across the globe. An almost cosmic vision has become lived reality. Over 1,000 documentaries have become part of the permanent offer of the online film catalogue, while 700 films were presented by the portal as part of the weekly film programmes available for free. DAFilms.com is making further strides in developing new projects and setting new trends in VoD distribution.

    On 5 May 2014, the first documentary film to ever win at the Venice IFF, Sacro GRA, entered regular theatrical distribution as well as TV distribution on Film Europe Channel and online distribution on the DAFilms.com portal. The portal has already premiered the acclaimed films Spirit of 45 and An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker. Diana Tabakov, acquisitions manager of the portal, said: “It is quite common today to acquire a film online in the very same year it was made, even at the beginning of its distribution. It is clear that the film industry must comply with the wishes of enthusiastic viewers who want to see the film right after it is reviewed in the press. By doing so, we are preventing the illegal spreading of films to a certain degree while introducing arthouse films to general audiences that are already used to searching for culture online.” 

    This time the portal used a new unique strategy of "complex communication cloud" to communicate the event in the Czech Republic as well as the Slovak Republic. In co-operation with the distributor Film Europe Media it put together six cinemas participating in the international gala premiere. These include Cinema Světozor (Prague), University Cinema Scala (Brno), Bio Central (Hradec Králové), Pastiche Filmz (Olomouc), Sněžník Cinema (Děčín) and Kino Film Europe (Bratislava). Those who prefer watching films from the comfort of their homes will have two options. Either they can tune in to the Film Europe Channel or watch the film at the DAFilms.com online portal.

    In the case of the online premiere, the viewers could decide how much, if at all, they would pay for watching the film at DAFilms.com. By asking “How much is the Golden Lion worth?” the portal called upon all visitors to decide for themselves how much they value the unique documentary. “One of the options is to really choose zero and watch the film for free; however, the viewers can just as well pay a symbolical or traditional fee. The decision of how much they value the unique film is up to each one of them. Naturally, there are no limits for millionaires,” Tabakov said about the principle known from online music distribution.

    As a bonus, the DAFilms.com portal presented an online retrospective of the previous works by Gianfranco Rosi from Monday, 5 May to Sunday, 11 May (El Sicario, Room 167; Below Sea Level and Boatman). As icing on the cake, Prague’s Cinema Světozor presented the film in the personal presence of director Gianfranco Rosi.

    The last but no less interesting programme related to the premiere consisted of the launch of the original photo application My Highway. It invited viewers to actively document their journeys, roads and highways, with the best pictures to be screened in all of the six Czech and Slovak cinemas during the evening premiere of Sacro GRA.

    My Street Films is a new project of the DAFilms.com online documentary portal. It invites members of the general public to make their own short video of a street or place they know well from their personal, professional or study life.

    The project is initiated in collaboration with UK documentary festival Open City Docs Fest. This is where the challenge to explore both known and unknown streets through the film medium started, now going abroad for the first time via the DAFilms.com portal. The Czech version of the project enriches the British concept with a new unique element, consisting of the patronage and active participation of five leading local documentary filmmakers.

    “My Street is a kind of citizen journalism,”says founder of the project and director of Open City Docs Fest Michael Stewart. “It is all about exploring the boundaries of documentary, which are shifting all the time.”

    Tabakov adds: "The project is a unique way to start to produce new short documentary films. It is a really great and crucial experience for the online portal to develop this kind of project focused on film education and film production."

    Participation in My Street Films is open to anyone. The project welcomes observational films, experimental films, portraits and any other film forms that accentuate creative expression. Together, these films will create a unique map of the Czech Republic: a map of stories yet untold by the film camera.

    In September, the best documentaries of all the films submitted by September 7, 2014 will be selected. The latter possibility consists in submitting a film subject in the form of a short text of up to 300 words by Sunday, 8 June 2014. The authors of the most interesting texts will make their films with the support of participating film professionals. The winner of the main prize will have the chance to personally introduce his or her film at the UK festival Open City Docs Fest in June 2015. The other selected filmmakers will be personally invited to the screening of their documentaries at Jihlava IDFF in October 2014 and receive a one-year unlimited access to the film catalogue of DAFilms.com portal.