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Full Monty writer premieres new film on Net

Squeezed out of cinemas by blockbusters

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Updated A new film from the writer of the Full Monty, Simon Beaufoy, will today become the first film to be launched on the Internet.

This is Not a Love Song, a low-budget British thriller directed by Bille Eltringham and starring lesser-known actors, will be streamed online from 18:00 BST today Friday, 5 September from the film's site at a cost of between £2 and £3. The film, which was shot in just two weeks for a budget of only £500,000, will also get a limited theatrical release for the next two weeks.

Beaufoy told the BBC that he wrote the film for the Net because it was becoming more difficult for smaller films to get distribution deals.

"We felt British films were being squeezed out of the cinemas by big American blockbusters, and the films I like watching and making are little small niche films that have no place in the cinema," he said.

Early reviews (here and here) of the film are favourable. The film has been described as a British thriller in the tradition of Deliverance and Straw Dogs, with a pair of mismatched friends on the run from a group of vigilante farmers following a tragic death.

If the film's unusual distribution route proves successful it'll be interesting to see whether other indie filmmakers follow suit. ®

Update

Looks like the film has fallen foul of that curse of innovative Internet ideas, failure to anticipate demand.

This is Not a Love Song's site carried the following notice at 1820 BST:

"Due to overwhelming demand, this site is temporarily unavailable.

We are currently working to resolve the problem and anticipate that the site will return shortly.

Thank you for your patience."

By 1900 the trailer was viewable but the film itself wasn't available.

Incidentally, This is Not a Love Song is nothing to do with the PIL song of the same name, sung by my almost-namesake John Lydon.

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