Today, American Express announced a joint program with independent film crowdfunding and distribution platform, Seed&Spark, designed to help transform how films are supported and watched. In collaboration with Seed&Spark, American Express will provide cinephiles a new channel to see independent films and give emerging filmmakers the opportunity to distribute their work to broader audiences.
American Express will provide select filmmakers in the Seed&Spark library with the opportunity for an in-home theatrical release of their film. Each month, American Express will select five films from the Seed&Spark streaming library, which includes shorts and features, for distribution on Amex NOW, the brand’s always-on, interactive TV channel and connected TV application. This will be the first time that Amex NOW will be distributing feature length films along with other shorts (less than 45 minutes).
“American Express is committed to enabling filmmakers and shares Seed&Spark’s mission of bringing the best in independent film to the fans,” said Jill Toscano, vice president of US media, American Express. “Through this partnership, we will provide film fans with great content on Amex NOW and bring these films to even broader audiences, ultimately fueling greater creativity and discovery of film.”
Tens of thousands of films are screened every year at the major film festivals all over the world, yet fewer than 200 are picked up for widespread distribution.
"Since the inception of Seed&Spark, we've been looking for more and more creative ways to help independent filmmakers connect to their audiences. We always knew brand patronage would be a part of that story, but we could never have anticipated the enthusiasm of American Express to put their incredible reach to work on behalf of these artists," said Emily Best, founder and CEO of Seed&Spark.
Each month from June through September, American Express and Seed&Spark will welcome a handful films to the Amex NOW channel. Each film will be available for four weeks. The first films to be introduced include:
- Like the Water, Directed by Caroline von Kuhn, follows a young journalist (Showtime's Masters of Sex star Caitlin FitzGerald) who returns home to coastal Maine where she has been asked to write the eulogy for her best childhood friend. Her first taste of mortality leads her to reconnect with her oldest friends, and with herself.
- The Man Who Ate New Orleans, a documentary about a man on a quest to eat in every New Orleans restaurant, is directed by Michael Dunaway, the Movies Editor at Paste Magazine.
- Morgan Faust's award-winning, imaginative short film Tick Tock Time Emporium helped launch her career; sending her out to Hollywood where she now works as half of writing/directing team BroSis with her brother Max.
- Mana'olana: Paddle for Hope, directed by constantly-working director of photography Eve Cohen, follows the Pink Paddlers of Maui: a group of cancer survivors whose bond of friendship launches them on a voyage into the ocean together.
- Commissioned by BBC knowledge, Lex is a feel-good film about a man who doesn't care what the neighbors think. Director David White's films have played at over 100 international festivals, and he is currently working on two new pieces of work which will be released in 2014.
Filmmakers can submit a film for release on Seed&Spark by clicking here.
Amex NOW was created in 2012 and now reaches more than 67 million households across DirecTV, Dish Network, AT&T Uverse, Verizon FiOS, Cablevision, Samsung and LG Smart TVs, Roku and Amazon Fire TV. Access can be found by visiting the American Express channel on YouTube, downloading the Amex NOW app from a Smart TV app store (on Samsung and LG), in the Roku and Amazon Fire TV channel stores, or by visiting the cable channel guide.
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.
Seed&Spark is building a truly independent film community where filmmakers and audiences join forces to fund, promote and watch the best new independent films. As a selective crowdfunding platform and curated streaming service, Seed&Spark is an online destination for engaged audiences to get involved in exceptional projects at all stages. Seed&Spark's film specific crowdfunding tool - the "WishList" - allows supporters to buy or loan specific items to a production. Every time an audience member supports a project, they earn rewards points called "Sparks" which they can spend to watch films on the streaming platform. Supporting films gives audiences greater access to watch them.
For more information visit www.seedandspark.com or @seedandspark.