In its competition with Netflix for the biggest new films, Amazon Video has announced that the SVOD service is opening up its checkbook for Sundance Film Festival participants, with a $100,000 offer they may not be able to refuse.
Launching what the company calls a “Film Festival Stars” program, any official selection for this year’s Sundance festival will be given the chance to take Amazon’s offer of up to $100,000 cash plus enhanced royalties, in return for streaming rights for two years.
US dramatic films will be worth $100,000. U.S. documentaries will be offered $75,000, and world dramatic films, world documentaries, kids, midnight and “New Frontier” selections will get $25,000.
Filmmakers have to give Amazon worldwide streaming rights for 24 months – the first 12 being exclusive.
For those top in-demand Sundance films, a much larger payday may be possible. But Amazon is banking on filmmakers taking the guaranteed payout instead, with the intention they use the cash for self-funded theatrical release or other marketing.
In addition to the upfront cash, Amazon is giving Sundance participants twice the usual royalty rate, or 30 cents per hour viewed in the United States, and 12 cents per hour viewed elsewhere. Amazon has typically placed a cap of $75,000 per year on royalties, but if you sign up for their “Film Festival Stars” program, in the deal, there will be no cap on royalties.
So what do you filmmakers reading this think about this new Amazon program? Deal or no deal?