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Director Kevin Smith’s new movie Red State debuted tonight on Park City, Utah at the Sundance Film Festival. Smith had announced that following the screening, he’d be auctioning off the rights to distribute the film right there in the theater, in an attempt to create a very public bidding war for the film. But that didn’t happen.
Following the conclusion of his film’s screening Smith took the stage and told everyone, “Selling my film is equivalent to having a baby and sending it off for someone else to raise.” His producer John Gordon then began the auction, and immediately auctioned the film off to Smith himself, for a full $20. Kevin then announced that they wouldn’t be selling the film and that he planned to self-distribute it, through their newly formed Smodcast Pictures.
Start on March 5th at Radio City Music Hall in New York, the film will begin a month-long Red State tour across the United States with star Michael Parks and director Kevin Smith in attendance. Their plan is to make the movie by going on a road tour, something Smith noted he has already pulled off with his popular series of podcasts, doing live shows at venues all across the country to ever-growing audiences. Then on October 19th the film will get some sort of traditional release, platforming to different cities. Exactly how he’ll pull that phase of the film’s distribution off without the help of a distributor, or how wide of a release he’ll manage to actually get, remains to be seen. They plan to spend no money on promotion or advertising-- and of course, they won't be talking to the press-- but will use Smith's large network of online fans to get the word out.
UPDATE! It now seems clear that Smith never intended to auction off the film, but merely announced that he would do so as part of a fake stunt to drum up publicity. Moments after his announcement at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah Smith released a podcast pre-recorded in advance of the faux auction in which he details in-depth plans to self-distribute the film. You can listen to that complete podcast right here.
Here’s a few of the highlights from that newly released, pre-recorded announcement:
- The Red State USA Tour kicks off March 5th at Radio City Music Hall