The innovative strategy of streaming Kasimir Burgess’ Fell on VOD platforms concurrent with its world premiere at the Sydney Film Festival has paid off, according to producer-distributor John Maynard.

Maynard is now working on the second stage of the release plan for the drama which stars Matt Nable as guy who is grief stricken when his daughter is killed in a hit and run accident and vows revenge against the driver (Daniel Henshall).

Having the film available to rent online for $9.99 for 50 hours in NSW, Queensland, South Australia, the ACT and Northern Territory was part of Maynard’s plan to make the festival screenings special events.

He partnered with the SFF and the Adelaide Film Festival to stream the Natasha Pincus-scripted film and is convinced attendances at the two screenings in Sydney were not affected by the VOD release.

“It was a great way to cut through a lot of noise at the festival,” he tells IF. While he’s not ready to reveal the VOD buy-rates, he says, “I had no idea what to expect. The figures are satisfactory.”

As to whether he will deploy that strategy again, he responds, “Oh yeah. We have to find new ways of working with exhibition, TV and online.”

He plans to release Fell in cinemas, dates to be confirmed, and does not anticipate any resistance from exhibitors after the limited VOD window.

“We need cinemas and we need people in cinemas,” he says. He expects to announce release plans for Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania next month.

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