The Independent Film Channel (IFC) has joined forces with production company, Mr. Mudd, formed by John Malkovich, Russ Smith and Lianne Halfon, to produce original short films as content for The Independent Film Channel, ifctv.com and IFC Broadband Theater, in addition to making literary contributions to ifcRANT, IFC’s new bi-monthly magazine launching in May 2000. The films will be featured in IFC’s prime-time shorts showcase launching July 3, 2000 at 8:30PM/ET, and as interstitials on Bravo and in Broadband Theater at www.IFCTV.com.
Under the terms of the deal, IFC will provide financing, distribution and marketing support while Mr. Mudd handles all aspects of the creative slate. Tapping into their stable of artists and friends that includes established talent as well as a band of new writers and actors, Mr. Mudd will produce a string of short films for the small screen experimenting with low-cost, high quality digital technologies. For ifcRANT, John Malkovich and Hugh Laurie (Blackadder, Stuart Little) will write original, short diatribes on a variety of cultural subjects and record themselves on DV cameras for exclusive on-air and web distribution.
“The Independent Film Channel is a great group with eccentric taste, bold plans and an independent spirit that will allow us to create a broad range of interesting, entertaining content,” stated Russ Smith of Mr. Mudd. “John and Hugh’s ifcRANT contributions will add a very personal and creative touch to an already extraordinary partnership.”
“The partnership between IFC and Mr. Mudd is developing at a very exciting time, when the film industry is just discovering the full potential of the web,” commented Joe Cantwell, Executive Vice President, IFC New Media. “IFC is the perfect partner for Mr. Mudd’s first digital media productions; they have an amazing track record of producing high quality film and theatrical works and we can provide the technology platforms through which they can present their work and reach an enthusiastic audience.”
The alliance is designed to provide its partners with additional means to hatch a new crop of original content and new venues to exhibit their work. The use of digital video will even allow talent to take advantage of down-time on location shoots to create work for the co-venture. Some names attached to the projects are actor/director Terry Kinney, French director Gregori Viens and comic Henry Phillips. The group will jointly develop several characters for short series on the Web, Broadband and television, including The Loner, whose eponymous protagonist can’t seem to catch a break and The Old Actor, telling stories of the good old days. Both projects will yield six to twelve shorts or episodes per year.
The Independent Film Channel (IFC), managed and operated by Bravo Networks, is the first channel dedicated to independent film presented 24 hours a day, uncut and commercial-free. The Independent Film Channel, reaching more than 30 million homes and with 14 million subscribers on a full-time basis, is the most widely distributed channel dedicated to independent film on television.
As the leader in online independent film activity since 1996, IFC Media is focusing considerable efforts on expanding the audience for indie work by including the use of new digital media and producing a series of Internet and Broadband events and original content.