In a move to go head to head with Netflix for the biggest new films, Amazon Video is breaking open their checkbook for Sundance participants – to the tune of $100,000.
As a part of a new “Film Festival Stars” program, any film that is as official selection for this year’s Sundance festival is given the chance to take Amazon’s offer of up to $100,000 cash plus enhanced royalties in return for streaming rights for two years.
US dramatic films will be worth $100,000. U.S. documentaries will be offered $75,000, and world dramatic films, world documentaries, kids, midnight and “New Frontier” selections will get $25,000.
To get the cash, filmmakers just have to give Amazon worldwide streaming rights for 24 months – the first 12 exclusive.
Top tier Sundance films coan potentially have a much larger payday though, if they worked out a deal on their own. Rights to the film “Manchester by the Sea,” which premiered at last year’s Sundance, went for $10 million. But Amazon is banking on filmmakers taking the guaranteed payout instead, with the intention they use the cash for self-funded theatrical release or other marketing.
In addition to cash up front, Amazon is giving Sundance participants double the usual royalty rate – 30 cents per hour viewed in the United States, and 12 cents per hour viewed elsewhere. Traditionally, Amazon has a cap of $75,000 per year on royalties, but films in this deal have no cap.
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