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network 26/04/2016 - 04:00PM

Cinema Politica officially launches CP VOD service with 24 films

Cinema Politica is thrilled to extend our doc-delivery efforts into the online realm with an initial offering of 24 provocative and unique films on our new VOD platform – a service we are launching today. 

Our new, virtual venture into screening truth to power can be accessed on the CP site at vod.cinemapolitica.org and at the organization’s Vimeo account: vimeo.com/cinemapolitica/vod_pages. We have divided the CP VOD programming into two categories: Complementary Programming and Encore Programming. The first is comprised of films we couldn’t, for various reasons, get on-site CP Network screening rights for, and the second is made up of films that are already in circulation in our network, but that have been playing for a good amount of time and have really made the rounds. As we add films and continue to diversity and expand our network and community of political cinephile makers and watchers, we will be sure to carefully curate the online titles and ensure both quality and diversity are front and centre.

Joining Jason O’Hara’s short documentary, RHYTHMS OF RESISTANCE, which helped soft launch this new initiative, we would like to highlight five other special titles you can view today on Cinema Politica’s VOD service. 

Stills from 4 of our 6 VOD launch leaders: THE CORPORATION, GOD'S WILL, RIOTS REFRAMED, and A RED GIRL'S REASONING

These six “Launch Leader” films represent a wide cross-section of CP’s programming since its inception in 2003. THE CORPORATION was one of the first films ever screened at a Cinema Politica Local, and today’s VOD launch of this box-office-smashing, award-winning documentary marks the first time that the film’s scathing critique of corporate citizenship will appear on any legal video-streaming platform. We are delighted to be collaborating with Hello Cool World for the special release of the 10 Year Anniversary Cut of the film that asks: “Is the corporation a psychopath?”

Three other feature- and mid-length films will make their VOD debuts with Cinema Politica. Beata Bubenec’s GOD’S WILL provides an unsettling insider’s perspective on activists in Russia’s religious far-Right, and is therefore a sobering reminder of the need for ongoing solidarity with that country’s marginalized LGBTQ community (read the CP interview with directory Bubenec here). To counterbalance the violence and bigotry presented in GOD’S WILL, Rémy Huberdeau’s charismatic and compassionate TRANSGENDER PARENTS explores family dynamics in homes where at least one parent has transitioned during their children’s lives. TRANSGENDER PARENTS has been a popular selection within the CP network since we acquired it two years ago and – not to show any favouritism – it is currently nominated for the 2015 Cinema Politica Audience Choice AwardRounding out our longer length program is Fahim Alam’s fierce and fearless RIOTS REFRAMED, a truly independent documentary that debunks the mainstream media’s misrepresentation of the United Kingdom’s string of riots in 2011, and forces a closer examination of the economic, social, political, and racial forces behind the misrepresented and often-violent protests.

Last but certainly not least is one of the most popular short films from our First Peoples First Screens program: Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers’ A RED GIRL’S REASONING. In this powerful revenge fantasy, a vigilante’s mission to hunt down white men who abuse Indigenous women in her community is loaded with fierce political commentary, and is exactly the kind of fiction film that our documentary-biased organization should screen. 

Cinema Politica’s pay-per-view VOD service will help us to directly support activist filmmakers and their causes: half of the money raised with each online rental will go directly to the filmmaker and/or the film’s rights-holder, and the other half will help Cinema Politica to carry out our work and maintain our high standard of political film selection.  

We have been steadily expanding our roster of VOD films and will be able to announce more and more over the coming weeks and months. We have decided to rely on Vimeo for the VOD service, based on its wide usage within the film industry and its available pay structures. 

Eventually we hope to initiate a standardized and affordable monthly membership fee that will allow unlimited viewings of all films: the Netflix of activist documentaries is on its way! In the meantime, the pay-per-view VOD format is a huge step towards CP’s ongoing financial stability, and it opens a whole new realm of possibilities for how we share, distribute, and screen our films. So for now, rentals are individual and prices vary according to each title. 

We would like to also point out that this new move to online programming in no way replaces or jeopardizes our on-the-ground screening activities. We remain committed to the good old fashioned “bums-in-seats” model of circulating political documentary, and we are all too aware that the viewing experience between ITRW, DIWO screenings and alone-at-home online screenings differ immensely in terms of engagement and activation. Still, we feel that there is room for both—especially because there is a need/demand for both. 

Please share this exciting news with anyone who loves documentary and/or political film, but can’t make it out to a CP screening (for various reasons). And lastly, stay tuned for more announcements about upcoming additions to our VOD catalogue!