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in Filmmaking
on Apr 26, 2007

Adam Dawtrey in Variety has a piece up today noting that digital download service Jaman is offering for free download six films screening at the Tribeca Film Festival.

From the piece:

Under the pact with Tribeca, six films screening at this year’s fest, which opens Wednesday, will be offered simultaneously for free download by users anywhere in the world for a period of seven days.

Deal is believed to mark the first time a major festival will have given online exposure to part of its full-length feature program at the same time the movies unspool at the fest….

The six films available for download are Russian/Uzbek doc “Between Heaven and Earth,” Hungarian animation “A Guest of Life,” Serbian drama “The Optimists,” classic French crime movie “The Pelican,” experimental U.S. feature “Razzle Dazzle” and Argentine doc “The Tree.”

Jaman signed another deal with the new Dream Machine (the merger of Celluloid Dreams and Hanway) to present a number of their titles:

Meanwhile, Jaman has acquired U.S. Internet rights to an initial batch of 42 films from Dreamachine, the company formed from the merger of Celluloid Dreams and HanWay Films.

Pics in the deal, which is intended to be the start of a longer-term relationship between the companies, include works by directors such as Walter Salles, the Dardennes brothers and Takeshi Kitano.

Jaman, based in San Mateo, launched to the paying public in February after a year in development. It’s a peer-to-peer service using proprietary technology to deliver world cinema in what it describes as “better than DVD quality.” It also aims to be a social networking site for fans of arthouse movies.

It has accumulated a library of around 1,300 films, which it offers either to rent for $1.99 or to buy for $4.99. It offers some titles free in a promotional effort to attract users. Jaman carries no advertising on its Web site as part of its strategy to present itself to filmmakers as a high-quality environment for their work.

Its proprietary P2P technology is attracting favorable reviews both for quality and level of security. Execs at both Tribeca and Dreamachine cited that technology, along with Jaman’s dedication to bringing world cinema to a wider audience, as principal reasons they chose Jaman as an online partner.

The different digital download distributors are in the midst of a slow-speed landgrab at the moment, and these two developments, particularly the one with Dream Machine, seem like significant ones from Jaman in terms of demonstrating its appeal to both industry and potential audience.

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