Internet Film Site Lands Deal With IFC

IFILM, which bills itself as ‘the Place for Internet Films,’ has struck a deal to share and cross-promote content with The Independent Film Channel (IFC), which is part of Cablevision Systems Corporation’s Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. As part of the deal, Rainbow Media has taken a small equity stake in the Hollywood-based web site.

The alliance between IFILM and IFC will extend the IFILM brand onto television, making it available to more than 30 million households. For IFC, the partnership will provide access to IFILM’s online expertise, content and audience.

“IFILM has carved out a formidable position in the online and indie film world. Together, IFC and IFILM will cut across television, online, film and streaming media, with defining content about and for the independent film community,” said Josh Sapan, Rainbow’s president and CEO. “This agreement reflects Rainbow’s ongoing strategy to move each of our brands onto new platforms, both by developing our own content, and by forging strategic relationships with key companies like IFILM.”

“Our new partners at IFC share our view that the most successful media brands of today will be those that traverse all media,” said Kevin Wendle, IFILM’s CEO and co-founder. “This extension of the IFILM brand into television is a giant step in our company’s development and will be welcome news to our thousands of filmmakers who will now have an opportunity to reach an even broader audience.”

Rainbow will acquire an equity stake of approximately 5% of IFILM and will provide IFILM with on-air promotional time, delivered over several years, on IFC. IFILM and IFC will exchange content and cross-promote throughout their web, television and print properties.

“IFC’s mandate since its inception has been to bring independent film to a wider audience and to help filmmakers get their films made and shown,” said Kathleen Dore, IFC President. She added, “IFILM is a great resource toward that goal. Our alliance will enable IFC to bring a new generation of filmmakers to television and to support IFILM’s mission to create the defining portal for independent film.”

IFC will pay IFILM to develop and produce 26 half-hour episodes annually of a hosted magazine-style television show for IFC focusing on the world of independent films and independent film production. The series, which will air evenings beginning the spring of 2001, will originate from IFILM’s headquarters in Hollywood. It will be co-branded as an IFC and IFILM production.

In addition to the programming and marketing commitments, IFC will become a charter customer of IFILM’s suite of products targeted to entertainment industry professionals under the IFILMpro brand. IFILM will promote IFC’s web site as well as help to drive subscribership to ifcRANT, the network’s new magazine.

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