Japanese producer Wada Arihiro and multihyphenate Ito Taichi have unveiled CinemaAirLane, an international distribution platform that will deliver international films directly to U.S. theatres.
The company’s system makes it possible to monetize films which do not have a distributor. It can also be used for distribution and marketing materials The minimum technical criteria are for the film to have English subtitles, a poster, trailer and photos.
Phase one of CinemaAirLane is to enable foreign-language films with English subtitles, or English-speaking films, to approach U.S. theaters without a distributor. The company plans to release its beta version in 2023. CinemaAirLane’s website is already taking waitlist registrations.
A second, more advanced phase could see the creation of a system that allows distribution between filmmakers and movie theaters in other countries.
Streaming, the pandemic and Oscar wins by films such as “Parasite” and “Manari” have hlped stir an appetite for foreign-language films in North America. But securing theatrical runs has traditionally been a complicated and bureaucratic affair without a dedicated distribution partner.
Wada will act as CEO of CinemaAirLane. He is a producer and distributor of independent films in Japan, including “Opening Night,” “Laughing Lucky Cats,” and “Two Komachis.” He is also MD of Green-Light, a script showcase service similar to The Black List.
Ito is a film director and producer with credits in different roles including “Lords of Chaos,” and “USS Indianapolis,” and is a business partner at CinemaAirLane. He is also the CEO of EdLead, a Japanese film production company, and Noma, a studio which is currently producing a trilogy of films about the world of crypto.
“I’ve produced and distributed many independent films in Japan see that there is a problem. Films won‘t be distributed in the U.S. if you can’t find a distributor,” said Wada. “CinemaAirLane changes that. It marks the digital transformation of worldwide film distribution and is a completely new structure for the Web3 era. We are looking forward to discussing CinemaAirLane at AFM.”
“With the industry now back on track following a difficult few years for global production, we are very pleased to launch CinemaAirLane in time for AFM,” said Ito. “We hope to create opportunities for those outside of the U.S to connect with theatres worldwide, particularly those who may not have had a chance at distribution in the U.S. before.” Variety