On-demand a growing alternative to traditional distribution

08 July, 2015 by Don Groves

Cinema-on-demand platform Fan-Force is taking on a growing number of Australian films as well as working on titles with independent distributors.

Fan-Force's first collaboration was with Studiocanal on Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner’s Zombie horror/comedy Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead, followed by Madman Entertainment on Damon Gameau’s That Sugar Film.


Among the upcoming releases are three films from first-time female directors: Rhiannon Bannenberg’s drama Ambrosia, Megan Riakos’ psychological thriller Crushed and Sonia Bible’s feature documentary The Witch of Kings Cross.

Offering a similar service to Tugg, Fan-Force enables filmmakers to respond to requests from individuals or groups for screenings at participating cinemas. Bookings are made once a minimum number of tickets is confirmed.

Bannenberg wrote, shot, directed and scored Ambrosia, based on her struggles of growing up with chronic neuropathic pain. Produced by Rhiannon and Steve Jaggi, it will premiere on August 8 at the Gala Cinemas in Warrawong in the Illawarra, the film’s location, and on-demand via Fan-Force.

It’s the first of three projects from Jaggi’s Incubator program, which he launched to help develop filmmakers who want to make films for audiences not traditionally served by the agency-driven development and financing process.

The plot follows India (Rebecca Montalti), a young woman living with the ongoing effects of a childhood accident. During a weekend away with friends, she struggles to deal with a newcomer – a mysterious character named Harriet who threatens to destroy their bonds of friendship. The cast includes Elias Jamieson Brown, Scott Lee, Debbie Neilson and, Natasha Velkova.

Crushed stars Sarah Bishop as Elia, a young woman who returns home after her father dies. The death is ruled a murder and her mother becomes the prime suspect. The cast includes Les Hill, Roxane Wilson, Aaron Glenane, Robert Preston and Jamie Irvine.

Currently in production, The Witch of Kings Cross profiles Rosaleen Norton, an artist who scandalized 1950s Australia with her erotic paintings, brazen sex life and hostility towards contemporary Christianity and middle class values.

Fan-Force is a division of marketing agency The Solid State, co-founded by Danny Lachevre and Walter Bienz.

Lachevre tells IF That Sugar Film is its most successful release thus far, with more than 60 bookings. The firm is now working with Studiocanal to facilitate on-demand screenings for Michael Winterbottom’s documentary The Emperor’s New Clothes.