SXSW comedy trying unique distrib model

By Sean O’Connell “Surrogate Valentine,” which will screen as part of the South By Southwest Film Festival later this month, is attempting something different when it comes to distribution.

Tiger Industry Films, the boutique production and distribution collective, today announced its release plan for “Valentine,” which will open via movies-on-demand platforms of major national cable systems including Comcast, Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Dish Network, and Direct TV.

In addition to its SXSW premiere, Dave Boyle’s film will be available for a limited time on DVD during the festival run. It then will be available on VOD starting in the fall.

From the release:

The creative team behind SURROGATE VALENTINE previously released director Dave Boyle’s comedy WHITE ON RICE in 2009 theatrically (with co-distributor Variance Films) and on DVD. While embracing the popular VOD platform, Tiger Industry Films will also make a limited number of DVDs available for purchase during the film’s festival run. The team is excited to bring its new film to a wider audience and look beyond the traditional release plan of an independent film. 

Dave Boyle, director/co-founder of Tiger Industry Films said, “On VOD and DVD alone, WHITE ON RICE returned three times the budget of SURROGATE VALENTINE. So it makes sense for us to go those routes with the festival run as the theatrical. We’ve found an economic model for our films that is sustainable through self-distribution.”

Michael Lerman, producer/co-founder of Tiger Industry Films said, “Everyone keeps talking about new versus old models of distribution and we’re really thrilled that SURROGATE VALENTINE has found its correct place in that conversation. We’re by no means turning towards ‘The Way of the Future,’ but, as we prepare to go back into production again in August on a new film, we’re just excited we’ve found a way to keep making movies.”

Boyle’s film is a romantic comedy about San Francisco musician and rising star Goh Nakamura’s (playing himself), whose life of solitude is disrupted when he is hired to teach TV actor Danny Turner (Chadd Stoops) how to play guitar for an upcoming film. Hellbent on accurately portraying Goh’s mellow vibe for his role, Danny meticulously studies his every move. Together, the two embark on a hilarious West Coast adventure involving live gigs, groupies, shotgun-wielding record exes and an unexpected friendship. Along the way, Goh discovers that Danny may be the missing puzzle piece in his life-long chase for Rachel (Lynn Chen), the one that got away.

The film will be showcased in other major festivals after its premiere at SXSW next month. SURROGATE VALENTINE is the Closing Night film for the 29th Annual San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. Festival attendees will have the opportunity to purchase limited edition collectible DVDs which include a digital download for the soundtrack by lead actor and composer Goh Nakamura and an HD version of the film. The soundtrack will be made available as a 7″ vinyl single, with a digital download code for both the complete soundtrack as well as the HD version of the film. 

Both items, along with the DVD and other merchandise, will also be sold through the official website following the SXSW premiere.

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