PlayPack/Sala Cero launched to release independent films online
- This Friday, Spanish distributor and producer #ConUnPack is setting up a digital multiplex that will show its own films as well as those from other companies
Hitherto somewhat shaky, online film releases have really gained traction during the COVID-19 pandemic: this is borne out by the fact that, when the moment arrives to consider the movies in the running for their respective awards, both the Spanish Film Academy and the one based in Hollywood will accept titles exhibited online, which have not necessarily been screened in movie theatres. In much the same vein, Spanish firm #ConUnPack has created PlayPack/Sala Cero, a virtual multiplex focused on independent productions that is being launched this Friday, 5 June, and which will release films from its own distribution catalogue as well as those from other companies that may wish to partake.
As #ConUnPack has pointed out, on certain occasions, the platform will serve as an exclusive launch pad for the premieres of (both national and international) films for a limited time, and the initiative will also offer re-releases of prestigious features that are available via TVoD. The platform was conceived to give audiences all over Spain the opportunity to carry on enjoying new cinematic releases, thus beefing up the weekly releases listings with indie films that sometimes do not get programmed in the dark rooms because of a lack of windows in the normally jam-packed schedules. PlayPack/Sala Cero is therefore open to theatres belonging to the independent circuit, which will have the chance to promote and offer the Playpack/Sala Cero releases on their websites, thus receiving a percentage of the price of every virtual admission ticket sold.
“We are very happy that we committed to this project, which demonstrates our proactivity in the industry and our quest to seek out new forms of exhibition and visibility for the most staunchly independent films,” stated Hugo Serra, a founding partner of #ConUnPack. Meanwhile, his colleague from company J.J. Montero added: “PlayPack is a highly versatile tool. We will offer the chance to organise online screenings with all of the necessary guarantees in place for producers, screenings aimed at the cultural circuit, or it could even be used as a platform for audiovisual events.”
The platform’s content, which is being offered in the original language with Spanish subtitles, as well as dubbed (should this version exist), will initially be watchable in web and mobile browsers, and users will be able to connect it to televisions and projectors via Chromecast (using the Google Chrome browser) and AirPlay (with Apple devices), with a resolution of 1080p. The first Premium films that will be available to watch on PlayPack/Sala Cero are the music documentaries Manolo Sanlúcar, el legado, directed by Juanma Suárez (released on 5 June), which was shown at the most recent Seville European Film Festival, and Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson & The Band, a Canadian-US co-production by Daniel Roher (12 June).
Two of #ConUnPack’s most successful international movies in recent years will also be available as re-releases: Most Beautiful Island [+see also:
interview: Ana Asensio
film profile], the unsettling debut by actress-director Ana Asensio, and the US flick The Song of Sway Lake by Ari Gold. Skin by Guy Nattiv, another US production, toplined by Jamie Bell and Vera Farmiga, will also be added shortly.
(Translated from Spanish)
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