Good returns for mini-festival releases

28 June, 2015 by Don Groves

The gambit of launching Kim Farrant’s Strangerland and John Maclean’s Slow West in a limited number of cinemas immediately following their Sydney Film Festival premieres looks like paying off.

In a joint marketing exercise between the festival and Transmission Films dubbed SFF Presents, Farrant’s feature debut starring Nicole Kidman, Hugo Weaving and Joseph Fiennes opened on about 25 screens on June 11.


“To date we've grossed approximately $100,000 and averaged around $2,000 for each session, which we are very happy with,” Transmission’s co-founder Andrew Mackie tells IF.

“We played very limited festival sessions at each location, rather than traditional seasons. We've had numerous sell-outs, which is why many locations carried the film over. It continues this week.”

As a mini-festival release the mystery drama produced by Naomi Wenck and Macdara Kelleher is not subject to the usual 120-day home entertainment holdback, so the title will be available on DVD and VOD on July 10.

That’s day-and-date with the US release in 15 cinemas and on VOD via Alchemy (formerly Millennium Entertainment).

Maclean’s Slow West, the tale of a bounty hunter who teams up with a naïve Scottish teenager in 1800s Colorado starring Michael Fassbender, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Ben Mendelsohn, opened on June 4.

Mackie says the Western, produced by See-Saw Films, Fassbender and Conor McCaughan’s DMC and Rachel Gardiner, has grossed slightly less than Strangerland.

Slow West will be released on DVD and VOD on July 29 and Mackie says, ““We are looking forward to seeing what uplift we achieve on both titles.”