SVOD Service to Provide Viewers With Groundbreaking Access to Exclusive Thought-Provoking Programming That has Been Suppressed and Scandalized
NEW YORK, May 12, 2003 – The Independent Film Channel (IFC) announced today the creation of "Uncensored On Demand." The SVOD service will break barriers within television programming and video on demand content by showcasing unique thought-provoking movies and programs that have been literally or figuratively banned from mainstream television for social, cultural, religious, or political reasons. The service, which will extend the key IFC principles of freedom of expression and artistic independence, will use VOD technology to empower audiences with the ability to decide the merits of each work based on their own discovery and opinion. IFC is a network of Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc., the programming subsidiary of Cablevision.
Each month, "Uncensored On Demand" will exclusively offer a slate of feature and documentary films, series, and made-for-television programs dealing with mature, controversial, and thought provoking themes and topics. Programs will be grouped into various 'uncensored categorizes' that viewers can access, such as, Cinema, World Cinema, Literature, Erotica, Music, Religion, and Politics. Included with each selection will be an original two to three minute commentary that will provide historical, social, and international context to best explain the major issues each program has faced.
"Uncensored On Demand will provide digital cable users with unique access to programming that has been suppressed, censored, and generally unavailable," stated IFC Companies President Kathleen Dore. "Much of the exclusive programming provided on Uncensored On Demand has been heard of, but rarely seen. IFC's new SVOD service, will appeal to independent minded viewers who have the desire to make their own programming decisions. Most of all, in an era of repurposed programming that is repeated constantly on digital and VOD services, the content on Uncensored On Demand will be unique and original."
Gregg Hill, Executive Vice President, Affiliate Sales & Marketing, IFC Network added, "In an age where artistic expression and the media have become more and more centralized, IFC is using VOD technology to break the chains of silence by giving a true voice to many great films and television programs. This service will not only attract a highly desirable niche demographic, but the unique content is in a class by itself within the digital line up, and will be a valuable acquisition and retention tool for cable operators."
Cynthia Burnell, Senior Vice President/General Manager, IFC Digital Media, stated, "In developing Uncensored On Demand, IFC is fully embracing the advances in digital technology and enabling subscribers to maximize their viewing experience. As cable programmers, it is imperative that we maximize VOD technology by giving viewers convenience, control, and most of all unique content."
Uncensored on Demand joins sister service Mag Rack as the only on-demand content products created specifically for VOD. A leader in on-demand content, Rainbow expects to launch 2-3 additional services designed specifically for VOD in the next 18 months.
The following details some of the examples of the programming available on "Uncensored On Demand" include:
"Dammed in the USA"
Description: A documentary about the censorship controversy involving art and freedom of expression; includes an interview with Donald Wildmon along with footage of artworks by Andres Serrano, Robert Mapplethorpe and others.
- "I am Curious – Yellow"
Description: Seized by customs upon entry to the United States, subject of a heated court battle, and banned in numerous cities, it is one of the most controversial films of all time. This landmark document of Swedish society during the sexual revolution has been declared both obscene and revolutionary. It tells the story a searching and rebellious young woman, and her personal quest to understand the social and political conditions in 1960s Sweden, as well as her bold exploration of her own sexual identity.
Description: The French film staring Gerard Depardieu, as thief who breaks into the home of a professional dominatrix and begins to help 'train' her clients. Censored in the U.K.
- "Talk to Me"
Description: An independent film dealing with relationships and taking a frank look at phone sex, including a steamy, uncensored phone call between the two lead characters that earned the film an 'un-rated' rating.
Description: A film documentary that goes behind the scenes of the 1992 presidential elections and provides previously unaired footage of George Bush, Bill Clinton, and H. Ross Perot during their presidential campaigns.
In addition to providing viewers with unique content that they will be unable to see anywhere else, Uncensored On Demand will serve as a high-profile product that will help cable operators drive consumer demand and help maximize their investment in digital cable services. In addition, the commentary provided on Uncensored will be available to cable operators for their consumer broadband services. Uncensored On Demand also fully utilizes advanced digital technology to give their consumers unparalleled convenience and control, including the ability to rewind, fast-forward, pause, stop and even switch to various programs, allowing viewers the power to view a program when they want to watch.
"Ultimately, Uncensored On Demand is a celebration of the freedom of expression and the many artists that have challenged the norm," Dore continued. "This new SVOD service continues IFC's determination to support the creative and free voice of artists, but also sends the strong message that the merits of these works should be a matter of individual judgment."
IFC Companies has created a unique end-to-end business model and brand that focuses on developing and nurturing talent, and maximizing the value of independent film. With a television network, a film distribution and production unit, and a VOD service, IFC Companies represents the future of independent film. IFC Companies uses its unique position to broaden the independent film audience nationwide and to expand the opportunities for independent filmmakers. IFC Companies is a division of Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc.
IFC Companies is made up of:
IFC Television, the first and most widely distributed channel dedicated to independent film 24 hours a day, uncut and commercial-free.
IFC Entertainment, which includes IFC Films, a theatrical film distribution company; IFC Productions, a feature film production company; and InDigEnt, an initiative that helps established filmmakers shoot productions on digital video.
IFC Digital Media, harnesses the power of digital technology to provide audiences with active entertainment, informational, and transactional experiences. It is currently focused on packaging, delivering, and marketing video-on-demand services and broadband content.
Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc.
A leader in sports, news and entertainment programming, Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc. is a division of Cablevision Systems Corporation. In addition to IFC and Mag Rack, Rainbow also owns and manages AMC, WE: Women's Entertainment and Fuse.