For the first time a Colombian film on Thursday made its debut online instead of in the cinemas.
Award-winning Colombian film, “La Sirga” premieres online Thursday, a day before it is released in Colombian cinemas. This is the first time a film has been released this way in Colombia.
“To show “La Sirga” online at the same time as it is being released in cinemas is really a unique initiative and very consistent with our times when the internet has take full importance in our daily lives,” said Oscar Ruiz Navia, producer of Contravia Films.
Over the last four years the practice of releasing films online has become more popular, growing from the realization by independent and Indie filmmakers that cutting the middleman out of the process might be a good way to expose their work to larger audiences.
The internet has become a free distribution machine umbilically connected to the audience, challenging the conventional wisdom that films can only make money through takings in the cinema. However, the more freely an audience can access the film the more exposure it gets and the less money has to be spent on advertising and promotion.
One of the most famous films to be released online in recent times is “Freakonomics” which was released on the Apple iTunes store before it was shown in cinemas. The movie spent months in the Top 30 ranking, even above the Hollywood blockbuster “Avatar.”
The debut of filmmaker Vega has already won two awards in the Festival de Cine de Lima for its delicate telling of the story of a teenager who is made homeless after her village is destroyed in a massacre. It has also screened at the Cannes Film Festival and will be shown at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.
On Thursday viewers were able to register and access the movie online, the first time that audiences in Colombia could do so. “This is not a radical or subversive position, it is just a way to diversify,” said the filmmakers who have posted on the film’s facebook page: “What a great day! Today Colombia is connected to her films!”