LOS ANGELES- Urban Victory Network Inc.(UVN) today launched a new online delivery platform for global black film at www.urbanvictory.com. Michael Eastman, CEO of Urban Victory, believes the movie industry is long overdue for a black film revolution leveraging the latest online technologies.
“Many excellent films that premiere at regional and international black film festivals never get distribution beyond the festivals. America and the world are being deprived of some really fantastic films,” says Eastman, a Harvard University and Harvard Law graduate.
Urban Victory aims to change that. “We will host an online film festival this summer and at the conclusion of the festival offer filmmakers 70% of net revenue on our ad supported and subscriber distribution platforms,” says Eastman. UVN has issued a call for film submissions for their online film festival scheduled to start in July. Filmmakers may submit short films(less than 40 minutes) for the festival for free until May 15 at urbanvictory.com or on Withoutabox. After that, they will be charged a modest fee to make a submission.
Filmmakers who submit films and are accepted for the festival will have the opportunity to win up to $2000 in prize awards. UVN will also give away a pair of regional black film festival passes to three lucky online subscribers to the festival worth up to $200 for providing feedback and input on the films featured.
Films by or about African Americans and people of the African descent rarely make it to the big screen. Last year, only six of the top 300 grossing films were produced by black filmmakers. Eastman continues, “With the advent of digital video cameras and editing, production of film by African Americans, Africans, Afro-Brazilians, and Afro-Caribbean people has exploded. Nigeria, the largest African country, has the second largest film industry in the world in terms of annual film production (2400 films), placing it ahead of the U.S. and behind India.”
“Online audiences will be blown away by the superb quality of these films that typically only get an audience at the 40 or so black film festivals held worldwide every year,” says Eastman, who has worked in the online media space for the last 15 years, including three years founding and managing startups and five years at RealNetworks, the company that pioneered the development of online distribution technologies for audio and video.