(NewsUSA) - From Sundance to Palm Springs to Cannes, film buffs ogle at these cinematic fetes but typically can only dream of parading among the who's who of Hollywood. Now, however, a new indie distribution company is making it easier -- and less expensive -- to attend a film festival by hosting it online.
NUHO Online Film Festival is the brainchild of New Hollywood Entertainment CEO Keith Mitchell and Ivy League entrepreneur Chris Kanik, and was born out of what Mitchell describes as an "inherent problem with quality independent films making it into the movie theaters."
"The festival business is a necessary spoke in the wheel of film distribution," says Kanik. "However when the festival benefits the hosts more than the filmmakers, that's wrong. We offer filmmakers a friendly site where everybody succeeds."
What makes NUHO different from other film festivals is that independent filmmakers gain from profit sharing, have exposure to a worldwide audience, and contact with agents, distributors and other industry professionals -- all without having to incur travel, hotel or marketing costs.
"We are offering everything other film festivals offer -- where you watch films, stream live events, attend panel discussions and meet other filmmakers -- the only thing we can't provide is a cocktail," jokes Mitchell.
The idea, he says, was to make NUHO similar yet different from other film fests by keeping it at a fraction of the cost, and allowing guests to attend from their homes.
To that end, participants can watch any film for $1.99 (per film) or buy an all access pass for all 21 films for $14.99. The all access pass allows guests to join in panel discussions with working industry professionals who will be talking about screenwriting, filmmaking and distribution. In addition, NUHO has an online lounge to meet other attendees, and an industry tab where other distribution and acquisition reps can watch the content and make deals.
"What we're doing is probably as crazy as when [Robert] Redford was telling people he wanted to start a film festival in the mountains of Utah," says Mitchell.
NUHO's state-of-the-art technology ensures the filmmakers that there are no piracy issues.
The online film festival, which will kick off its festivities with a keynote speech by Spike Lee, runs throughout February, and covers all genres of film, including narrative features, documentaries, shorts and web series.
For more information, visit www.nuhofilmfest.com.