“We accept all formats,” explained Always Independent Films (AIF) president Gary Zeidenstein. “We do have a screening process, [but] as long as it’s not the backyard homemade movie, we’re going to post it on the site.” In its first few months AIF received some 300 entries and about 50 were rejected.
Based in Ohio, AIF stole the spotlight from iFilm and AtomFilms when it announced a pact with the on-line distribution powerhouse Broadcast.com. This immediately gives AIF a high profile via Broadcast.com’s highly-trafficked site. (Yahoo! acquired Broadcast.com earlier this year.)
AIF President Gary Zeidenstein touts his company’s decision to focus on feature work, “because that’s the future.” This decision was enabled by the Broadcast.com deal. “[The partnership] helped us with bandwidth [and has] given us the opportunity to stream a whole film.” For those with shorter attention spans, AIF launched a TV section with short pieces and original programming in the works, including a hip hop show, comedy, a dating show, indie filmmaker interviews, and a doc series about women and minorities in filmmaking.
Zeidenstein also highlights the site’s on-line film festival which streamed 83 films. They plan to host two or three festivals per year at no cost to filmmakers. Other plans include an e-commerce section for filmmakers to sell their works online, as part of the nonexclusive deal it makes with producers.
Launched: April 1999
Plug-ins required: RealPlayer
Audience (per month): 60,000 page views; 8,000 downloads
Contact: 27 Water Street, Milford, OH 45150; (513) 965-0049; fax: 965-0067