Heritage Online is an innovative service offered by Locarno Pro, with the aim to expand the horizons of Video On Demand and its global catalogue in order to include the past
For the Future of Films, Locarno Pro remains an international hub for the independent film industry even in this “standby” year. The virtual Locarno Pro will launch Heritage Online, which aims to fill a void within the international film industry, with a platform where past and future go hand in hand.
Heritage Online is an innovative service offered by Locarno Pro, with the aim to expand the horizons of Video On Demand and its global catalogue in order to include the past. This unprecedented tool, a connective tissue that was previously unavailable to the international industry, will ideally bring the Lumière brothers next to the Marvel heroes.
Thanks to Heritage Online, rights holders (international sales agents, film archives, institutes, restoration companies) will be able to share their catalogues with potential clients, that is to say VOD platforms, from the giants in the field to smaller entities. By accessing this database of international film history, streamers will be able to view detailed information, including specifics concerning rights, and watch the submitted films. Locarno Pro is launching Heritage Online Platform enabling distribution of Heritage Films connecting right holders of classic films (premiered before 2006) and online OTT and VoD platforms.
During the days of Locarno Pro, on August 8, the catalogues of a selection of companies and institutions participating to Heritage Online will be promoted through a newsletter and the website. Moreover, the topic of heritage and library films’ distribution on streaming services will be discussed in a Round Table that will be streamed online on August 8.
“We believe that this initiative can really increase the circulation of Heritage and Library Films in what we think will soon be (or is already in most territories) the new standard for Home Video: Streaming Services,” says Heritage Online Project Manager Markus Duffner.
“Locarno Pro is always responsive to the needs of industry professionals. Its mission is to create tools that help people in cinema to work even more effectively. Our new project Heritage Online fills a gap in the audiovisual industry landscape and will foster links between rightsholders, VOD platforms and world cinema distribution,” says Duffner.
Heritage Online is a B2B platform and Heritage Films right holders can do a selection of their catalogue on the platform for a basic subscription of chf85 (Approx Rs 6400) A premium subscription priced at chf160 (Rs 12,000) for enables right holders to include one film in the Online Screening Room, where potential clients have the chance of streaming a selection of titles.
Subscription for VoD broadcasters is free. By creating a private account via free sign-up, they will be able to access the database and, like all other professionals with an account, take part in virtual meetings, pitches and roundtables. Starting in 2021, Heritage Online will be available via yearly subscription or a Locarno Pro accreditation.
Heritage Online offers film professionals a year-round database where streamers (and other buyers) will be able to watch available titles, consult their detailed technical information, including availability of films in the various territories, and get in touch directly with rights holders.
What’s the objective behind this? Will it continue beyond Locarno Pro Days?
With the absence of DVD distribution in favor of a dominating Online Streaming market – the distribution window that was dedicated to Heritage Films has shifted towards the second option. However, we think that Streaming Platforms are still looking mainly for recent and new content, rather than filling this gap left by the growing absence of DVDs. There are of course some great exceptions (MUBI, Criterion Channel, i.e.,) and our aim is to connect the Heritage Right Holder with Streaming content buyers (also Theatrical, TV, DVD buyers, Festivals and other film professionals can register to Heritage Online) through a year-round online Database dedicated to Heritage and library content (eligible titles are those that have premiered before 2006).
What’s the response among participating countries?
We have launched only a couple of weeks ago, but we already count registered users from all continents. We got a great feedback from both Right Holders and Streamers (VOD Platforms) since the early days of the project and we’re receiving more requests every day. I believe that the project will live throughout the year, gaining more and more importance with time.
Will Cinemalovers be able to watch films from Heritage Online?
The Online Database and its Screening Room is only accessible to film professionals with a registered account. I believe many of us in this industry are also cinemalovers (smiles).