tao films VoD

€2,101 of €3,240 goal

Raised by 43 people in 30 months
My name is Nadin Mai. Not so very long ago, I finished my PhD on the representation of trauma in the cinema of Filipino director Lav Diaz , which touched quite a bit on Slow Cinema and long duration.

At the beginning of my PhD research, in autumn 2012, I set up the website The Art(s) of Slow Cinema. Initially, it was a research blog, but it has become a lot more. Today, an average of 4,000 readers a month follow research ideas, film and book reviews as well as filmmaker interviews. 

The Art(s) of Slow Cinema video-on-demand is an extension of the website of the same name.  It seeks to promote hand-picked little to entirely unknown slow films, whose directors struggle to find adequate distribution for their work. At the same time, through the purchase of viewing access and/or DVDs, the platform seeks to support the directors' new works financially.

The Art(s) of Slow Cinema will primarily be a curated service. Every three months, the platform will introduce three new feature films (or two feature films and a short film package), which are in one way or another connected to each other. The films will be introduced by an essay by me in order to give the viewers adequate contextualisation for the films they are going to see. The platform will also contain reviews of the chosen films and interviews with filmmakers. 

In addition, The Art(s) of Slow Cinema VoD platform will offer a permanent collection of contemplative films, which will be available all year round. Apart from having approached IFFR Unleashed about this (and hoping that I can reach an agreement with them), the permanent collection will consist of film haikus by French film collective "Cinéma Fragile".


The income the VoD platform will achieve, will be shared by all participants in a period of three months equally. There will be no discrimination between films with a lot of views and films with less views. All filmmakers will profit from the platform equally. The aim of the platform is to support emerging filmmakers, who struggle to receive funding for their new projects from external sources.

But The Art(s) of Slow Cinema VoD will be more than just a VoD service. Once the platform is up and running, I will start focusing on DVD distribution of selected films, which can be bought via the platform. 



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As of 22 May, the following directors have been chosen for the VoD platform (with the Call for Films  still ongoing!):

Simo Ezoubeiri, Sebastian Cordes, Yulene Olaizola, Michela Occhipinti*, Félix Dufour-Laperrière, Tito Molina, Felipe Guerrero, Zhengfan Yang, Homer Etminani, Pablo Lamar*, Christos Gkotsis, Martin Meija, Liryc de la Cruz, Shengze Zhu, Yotam Ben-David, Miguel Hilari, Jaime Grijalba, Allison Chhorn, José Fernandes, Diego Amando Moreno Garza, Jenni Olson, Martynas Kundrotas, Blaz Kutin, Mark John Ostrowski, Sorayos Prapapan, Yarr Zabratski, Peter Sant, Oren Contrell, Mirac Atabey, Dina Yanni, Nandan Rado, Kevin Pontuti, Scott Barley, Mikel Guillen, Lois Patino*, Tiara Kristiningtyas*, Panahbarkhoda Rezaee*, Salvatore Insana, Manjeet S. Gill, Ion Indolean, Yefim Tovbis.

The platform will show films from all continents of the world. 

Expected start date: 1 January 2017

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What is the money for?

At the moment, my brother, who is programming the actual platform, and I are working on the VoD setup. This comes with running costs, such as the money for the server we need. At the moment, we're paying this from our own pocket. Furthermore, we are trying to raise enough money to cover the currect costs and the costs of the platform for the first three months at least, so that we're not entirely dependent on viewing subscriptions right from the start. This allows everyone breathing space. We can see how things pan out from January onwards and hopefully stand on our own feet by April 2017

But it's not only about the server. There are costs for the payment provider, which will be added to our bill as soon as we have signed up for one (still on the hunt for a cheap one!). The other main cost is the Amazon Webservice, in short the Content Delivery Network, which spreads the streams around the world, so that every viewer in every corner of the world can get access to the films at the same speed. 

There is also the labour cost, which is primarily for my brother, who puts a lot of effort in creating a nicely zen platform for slow film viewing.  And even though this should not be considered a major point, I'd like to mention that I have problems with the current computer equipment I've been using for eight years now. It's difficult to work with video and any improvement I could make in the run-up for the VoD would greatly help. I could then work on teasers for the monthly themes and prepare the flyers and posters for the service.

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What's in for you?

I'm contacted quite often and asked whether I have copies of a certain slow film I reviewed on my website. I'm aware that there is a comparitively large niche audience for contemplative films, and I want to make those films accessible. I want to bring the two struggling parties together and help both of them at the same time; the viewer who struggles to get access to unknown slow films and the filmmaker who struggles to get his/her films seen. 

Every donator will see his/her name on the VoD website (if desired - I'm aware that some people are not keen on it). Also, for every donation, we give away voucher codes for one curated theme of your choice. This voucher code can be given to a friend, if you want to be nice, or you can keep it to yourself, if you feel self-centered :)

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Any help would be greatly appreciated. You make something wonderful happen, a VoD platform which allows people all over the world to see unknown films. No geo-blocking, no boundaries - The Art(s) of Slow Cinema will deliver contemplative films to people around the world and will create a community of filmmakers and viewers alike. Films that have so far been unavailable for you to see, will be made available. Films which do not receive distribution, will receive distribution. You can make this possible.

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On behalf of all the filmmakers, those already chosen and those who are still to come, I would like to thank you for your support.
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Dear all,

it's alive, it's alive!

I’m very pleased to announce that tao films VoD is now live after a year of hard work. It is a project I’m particularly proud of. Since midnight CET, you can now stream six selected films from around the world, and you can do so until 31 March 2017.

Our feature films are Centaur by Aleksandra Niemczyk, a film shot in Bosnia-Herzegovina as part of Aleksandra’s studies at Béla Tarr’s film.factory. She says about why she made the film: “As for the reason to make Centaur, it was the idea to make something personal yet fictionalized. And Centaur is based on the story of my grandfather who, in 1953 was paralyzed by polio during an epidemic that affected the whole world. It is very much abstracted from the reality, more like a vivid memory.”

Then there is Osmosis by Greek filmmaker Nasos Karabelas, a deeply philosophical piece about life, death, and everything in between. It’s a film heavily laden by a voice-over, which gives substance to the often empty frames. In Nasos’s own words, “The movie sets questions which reflect firstly my personal worries and secondly the daily life of a human being at this very moment.”

I’m exceptionally proud of presenting to you Scott Barley’s Sleep has Her House, the young director’s first feature film. It’s very experimental. No dialogue guides you through the images; you have to learn to read them. In our interview with him, Scott ponders about the relationship between film and viewer: “What does a mountainside, deep in its slumber say about being a human being? What does a picked flower floating in a starlit pond say? How does time pass us, as we stand rooted, in the quiet wind, mesmerised by the moon above us? How can we go beyond ontology and communicate in discussion through cosmological questions? To me, the body, and the stars are both one and the same. And the film and the spectator are too. They feed off each other.”

The ebb of forgetting is a short film by Filipino director Liryc de la Cruz, who has previously worked with Lav Diaz. It shows in his films; black-and-white empty frames, a focus on contemplation and nature. About the choice of cinematic slowness, Liryc told us, “Regarding the slowness in my films, for me, this “slowness” is a gift to our soul, especially that the world now is moving so fast. So when you are able to immerse yourself or get inside this “slowness,” it’s like you exist at the right moment, at an ideal pace that the world seems to lack right now. I want that moment to be experienced by my audience while watching my films.”

French duo Ozal Emier and Virginie La Borgne present their short film Metropole, a strong film about what it means to leave your home and settle in a different country, and about how your past travels with you wherever you go. Ozal explains, “There is something very violent in cutting your ties with your culture and forget who you have been so far in order to “fit” in a new place. This is what Hector did, in the name of integration and social success.”

Last but not least, we’re happy to show A souvenir from Switzerland by Thai director Sorayos Prapapan. The refugee crises from 2015 hits the art world; the Thai directors, in Switzerland for a festival, meets an Afghan filmmaker friend who has become a refugee in Switzerland. Set against iconic images of Swiss mountains, Sorayos gives us an individual perspective on the refugee crises. What characterises the film is the absence of faces. Sorayos explained his choice: “I think without our faces, the story feels as if it belongs to everyone and not only to him and myself. This kind of thing can happen to anyone in the world who lives in a country which lacks freedom of expression.”

If these six films sound appealing to you, please join us on tao films. You can watch trailers of the films and read the full interviews with our selected directors. A feature film costs 4.99€ and a short film costs 1.99€. We have a special package price, which gives you access to all six films for 17.99€. Please note that our platform aims to support the directors and their new films. Two-thirds of the profits go directly to the directors.

Thank you very much for all your support in the past. You made this happen. You helped enormously. I'll be in touch about the vouchers we promised soon. As indicated, you'll get a voucher for free streaming of a curated programme of your choice.

I'm looking forward to welcoming you on tao films, and thank you again for all your support.

Best wishes
Nadin
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Dear all,

I cannot tell you how excited we are to be so close to the launch of tao films. Only one more month to go, and we will be live.

Since mid-September, our publicity material has traveled the world. People around the world have helped to advertise our new platform. tao films went to countries as far away as Japan. Over 500 flyers have been distributed in cinemas, at galleries, or at film festivals. The interest in the project overwhelmed us. We didn't expect this.

The project is not even live and already successful. Two directors asked for distribution of their forthcoming films, having submitted film portfolios etc I had a chat with both and we agreed on a partnership. There are two series in the making exclusively for tao films, too. These series will forge a collaboration between filmmakers from around the world who have never even met. I'm particularly proud of this.

Certain film criticism websites have also contacted us about a collaboration. They're interested in reviewing one tao films film a month, which would be fantastic.

We're also in the process of planning an annual tao films event in a different European country every year, a sort of Best Of in the autumn. One cultural institute in Bulgaria is interested in hosting the inaugural event in November 2017, so fingers crossed!

I'd like to thank you for your support. You helped to make this possible. Thank you for supporting tao films, and our filmmakers.

I hope to see you in the new year on our platform!

Nadin
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Dear all,

tao films VoD will launch with a programme of six films. The selection has been made and I'm happy to announce the films to you.

In the feature films category, we have the world premiere of Scott Barley's first feature film "Sleep Has Her House", "Osmosis" by Greek director Nasos Karabelas, and Aleksandra Niemczyk's stunning "Centaur".

Barley's film is more experimental than the other five selected films. It will spice up the programme a bit and will bring in a new perspective on contemplative cinema. Nasos Karabelas and Aleksandra Niemczyk, who has been mentored by Béla Tarr (!), have photographic eyes. Their films are beautifully shot, but do not necessarily follow a reality we think we know.

Our three short films are "The ebb of forgetting" by Filipino director Liryc de la Cruz, "A souvenir from Switzerland" by Sorayos Prapapan from Thailand,
and "Metropole" by French directors Ozal Emier and Virginie Le Borgne.

Whereas our feature film programme is relatively open, our short films share the theme of memory. It is a very nice mix from both Europe and abroad, and I'm sure that the programme will appeal. We have two more world premieres in stock, waiting to be released on the platform later next year.

Until then, I hope that you'll join us on our launch.

Thanks again for your support in the past.

Best wishes
Nadin
Centaur - Aleksandra Niemczyk
The ebb of forgetting - Liryc de la Cruz
Sleep has her house - Scott Barley
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tao films VoD has reached 59% of its goal. Thank you to everyone who has donated already. We were able to bring this project a lot of steps forwards and we'll soon be ready to launch. I'm touched by all your support.

It won't be easy to keep this project running considering the growing number of VoD platforms, but we will make it. There is a lot of talent out there. We'll build ourselves a niche, a community, a hub for underrepresented films. The first feature film programme is almost complete. We have the world premiere of Scott Barley's first feature film "Sleep Has Her House" as well as Nasos Karabelas' film "Osmosis". The flyers with the full programme for January to March 2017 are almost ready for print. In about three months we'll start the public test of the platform.

I had never thought this project would come that far, but thanks to you, it's really happening. Please help me make the platform and this crowdfunding campaign more known. Share it amongst friends, relatives, anyone interested in film.

Thank you!

The tao films team
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€2,101 of €3,240 goal

Raised by 43 people in 30 months
Created May 23, 2016
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HE
€50
Homer Etminani
23 months ago

Thanks Nadin!! Your work is essential for cinema!!

€37
Danabelle Ignes
24 months ago

Can't wait til this launches!

€50
Anonymous
24 months ago
PB
€20
Philip Borgnes
26 months ago
1
1

Best of luck on the VOD!

€750
Anonymous
26 months ago (Offline Donation)
1
1
€10
Travis Boone
26 months ago
1
1
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