Saturday, May 05, 2007

Opening of the Redfordplex will make more indie films available faster in Madison

The Rob Thomas story in the Capital Times about next Friday's opening of Sundance 608 has more information about what the Redfordplex will mean for the availability of first-run independent films in Madison.
The impact of Sundance selecting Madison, already seen as a strong third-tier market for independent film, as its first theater site should only enhance the city's reputation in the film industry.

That could mean independent films arriving in Madison much faster than the weeks or months it usually takes. And the opening of Sundance essentially doubles the number of screens in Madison devoted to independent film from six (the four-screen Westgate and two-screen Orpheum) to 12, which means the city should get more films.

"It gives it a much higher profile," says Steven Rothenberg, president of domestic distribution for Lionsgate Films, which releases both commercial films such as "The Condemned" and specialized fare like the indie drama "Away With Her."

"With Madison being the home of the first fully branded, built-from-the-ground-up theater for the Sundance Group, there's cause for great excitement," Rothenberg says. "It portends the arrival of some really good specialized films, probably quicker than they would have normally arrived."
I've tended to see Sundance 608 as just one more part of the Freed Hilldale real estate gold rush, but they may make a believer of me yet.

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