Kino Lorber unveils art house digital theatrical experience
With most theaters shut down around the country in the midst of coronavirus concerns, Kino Lorber is launching a virtual theatrical experience called Kino Marquee to help art house theaters shuttered by the coronavirus outbreak to serve their audiences and generate revenue by viewing films digitally, beginning with Bacurau.
Directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles and starring Sônia Braga (The Jesus Rolls) and Udo Kier (Dragged Across Concrete), the film won the Jury Prize at Cannes in 2019 and went on to play Toronto and New York Film Festivals to much acclaim. It was a New York Times “Critics Pick” by Manohla Dargis who called it “an exhilarating fusion of high and low,” and The New Yorker lauded the film as “a boldly inventive political fantasy.”
The film was set to open at New York’s Film at Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music and Jacob Burns Film Center before the shutdowns and now audiences will be able to support those theaters by viewing the film through Kino Marquee, which will set up designated virtual screening rooms for each film and theater that can be booked from Fridays to Thursdays, with revenue split between the distributor and exhibitor.
The current list of theaters on board include:
- Film at Lincoln Center (New York, NY)BAM (Brooklyn, NY)
- Jacob Burns Film Center (Pleasantville, NY)
- The Little Theatre (Rochester, NY)
- Santa Barbara International Film Festival Riviera Theatre (Santa Barbara, CA)
- The Frida Cinema (Santa Ana, CA)
- Sie Film Center (Denver, CO)
- Belcourt Theater (Nashville, TN)
- Loft Cinema (Tucson, AZ)
- Austin Film Society (Austin, TX)
- Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, OH)
- Aperture Cinema (Winston Salem, NC)
“When theaters started to close, we at Kino Lorber turned our thoughts to how we could collaborate with our independent theater partners across the country,” Wendy Lidell, SVP of theatrical distribution at Kino Lorber, said in a statement. “We cannot release the kinds of films we do without their support. Of course we wanted to find a way to keep our current film release in front of audiences, but to do so in a way that would also benefit our exhibition partners. We want to help ensure that these theaters will be able to reopen their doors after this crisis passes. The Kino Marquee program offers an opportunity for theaters to generate revenue while their doors are closed.”
Kino Marquee will be hosted on the company’s new VOD service, Kino Now, although access to the virtual screening rooms will not be available through said site, but rather through theaters’ promotions of the films via the site, where viewers can buy virtual tickets and receive a link offering an admission to the online screening rooms.
“As a company whose mantra has always been ‘experience cinema’ we’re keen to help our exhibition partners maintain their visibility and value in launching the whole media career of the carefully curated films we all care so much about,” Kino Lorber CEO Richard Lorber said in a statement. “We’re all in this together and will come through it stronger with the support of the film loving communities our theaters serve.”
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