Sundance Promo Touts Classic World Cinema

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In an effort to build its independent-film and world cinema audience, Sundance Channel this summer will host a consumer sweepstakes, in conjunction with Amazon.com and home-video distributors The Criterion Collection and Home Vision Entertainment.

The "Reel in Rome" promotion will draw attention to Sundance's world cinema double features, scheduled to run every Sunday night in July and August.

First prize is a trip to Rome for December's European Film Awards, which Sundance will televise. Entry for the sweepstakes, which runs throughout July and August, is available only through Amazon.com.

The films in the series are classics restored by The Criterion Collection. Home Vision Entertainment is also releasing the 17 titles on DVD.

Amazon.com will sell the DVDs on its electronic-commerce Web site; Sundance Channel will receive an undisclosed cut of any sales generated from click-throughs to Amazon.com from its sundancechannel.com Web site.

"They're very aggressive and have an ability to speak to consumers representing various targets segmented by category and interest," said Sundance senior vice president of marketing Kirk Iwanowski.

Included in the world cinema series are such titles as Juliet of the Spirits by Federico Fellini (1965); Loves of a Blonde by Milos Forman (1965); and Alphaville by Jean-Luc Godard (1965).

"It's important for us to be able to show high-quality world cinema." Iwanowski said. "Our objective is to be able to bring the work of these artists to a larger audience and to show the work that has influenced today's filmmakers."

The films' availability on both Sundance and DVD shouldn't be taken as an either/or situation, he said.

"The way we're positioning it in our creative is, 'Take advantage of this series on Sundance Channel, and then own these titles on DVD,' " Iwanowski said.

DVD packaging on the select Criterion Collection titles will promote the "Reel in Rome" sweepstakes.

AMAZON ACTIVITIES

Amazon.com plans to promote the sweepstakes on its welcome page, on all of its DVD genre pages and through a dedicated sweepstakes page on its Web site, as well as via a targeted electronic-mail blast to customers who've purchased independent films or related products from the company.

Amazon.com also plans to highlight the promotion in its weekly newsletter for the duration of the sweepstakes, according to Iwanowski.

Sundance has worked with Amazon.com on past affiliate acquisition campaigns, he said.

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