There’s something about the Sundance Film Festival that brings big news out of writer-director Kevin Smith. It was nearly one year ago to the day that Smith took to the podium following his Red State premiere in Park City to announce a semi-revolutionary plan to forgo the traditional studio system and distribute the indie horror drama on his own. Smith spent most of 2011 on the road, bringing Red State to his dedicated fan base in multiple markets. And it worked … so much so that Smith’s now ready to take the next step in the evolution of his SModcast network.

When it comes to Smith happenings, it’s best to go directly to the talkative source. Over on SilentBobSpeaks, Smith announced – after lambasting Mike Fleming of Deadline for multiple paragraphs – that he is expanding his SModcast Pictures, through a partnership with Phase 4 Films, to be able to distribute the films of up-and-coming filmmakers who could use a boost.

“SModcast Pictures will be taking your show on the road this year, as we apply our Red State touring model to the indie flicks made by you,” Smith writes. “I honestly cannot wait to start finding flicks to take out on the road. Live action, animation, big budget, micro-budget, comedy, drama, horror -- I want you to send ‘em all to [email protected]! Come join the circus!”

Phase 4 worked with Smith by distributing Red State throughout Canada. In an official release, Berry Meyerowitz, President & CEO of Phase 4 Films, explained that his company obtains exclusive rights in the U.S. and Canada to exhibit and distribute up to 12 films per year under the newly created “Kevin Smith and SModcast Pictures Presents” label. Phase 4 will release four of these films theatrically each year, which will include a live tour with Kevin Smith, similar to that of Red State. The remainder of films will be released via other traditional and digital platforms.

Smith takes heat for his blustery, borderline arrogant attitude. It’s his way or the highway, and he’ll talk shit about anyone who opposes his methods. But truthfully, he has earned the right to try whatever he’d like. Red State was a success, under its own aspirations. And if Smith’s using his powers to benefit others, more power to him and to those he might help get their movies into theaters. Keep it up, Kev.

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