EYELET promises borderless access to independent films
by Vassilis Economou
- BERLIN 2019: The new technology will bring more content to a worldwide audience by bolstering sales agents’ networks through renowned websites that will be used as new points of sale
The official B2B launch of EYELET, the new system that aims to create a virtual digital single market, has taken place during the 69th Berlinale, in front of a versatile audience of key film-industry players hailing from all over the world. The new technology, which has been in development for three years, will offer film enthusiasts and publishers (including newspapers, blogs, websites and social-media platforms) access to a varied catalogue of independent content by “lifting” regional restrictions.
Practically, the EYLELET system allows sales agents and distributors to extend their networks by using renowned and trusted websites as their new points of sale. These sites can market and sell the films that the sales companies are handling, on their behalf – which will increase revenues for both sides. This decentralised system also offers the end user portable access to the content, through any website that uses the EYELET system. It should be noted that the system’s technology protects and respects existing territorial IP, which is an important consideration for the independent film industry.
The team behind EYELET comprises Jero Santamarina, Florencia Juri, Rita Falcón, Aranka Matits, Beatrice Gulino and Florencia Schapiro, who, along with founder and EYELET CEO Brodie Higgs, have also announced the first acquisitions of the system. Prior to the launch, Higgs commented: “EYELET aims to be a tool for the industry, multiplying the points of access for independent cinema and creating bonds amongst users and creators.”
A number of deals have been made with leading sales agents and distributors. One of them is with Australian producer and co-financer of the system Bruce Davey, who, alongside Mel Gibson, is a key partner in ICON Entertainment. Sharon Strickland, CEO of ICON, said: “ICON is excited to be involved in such a ground-breaking initiative. With a catalogue of over 400 quality films, and with the aim of having more of them talked about and viewable on websites receiving over 100 million monthly visits, EYELET will help independent films to be more accessible and sell more.”
The other major deal that was announced at the launch was with Italian film portal MYmovies.it, which is a leader in the country, with over 15 million visitors per month. The founder of MYmovies.it, Gianluca Guzzo, explained his perspective: “EYELET is very important for conversion, which is crucial for editors right now. EYELET helps the publishers to convert their audience to purchase content. You can talk about a particular film and immediately show it. In this ever-changing market, this is very interesting.”
In the near future, more deals will be closed, and more partnerships will be struck up. Furthermore, Higgs asserted that this is “a very solid start for a journey on which we expect to greatly enhance film distribution”.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.