Indie films await sign of VOD, Web download success

Like an actor waiting for a big break, the nascent market for watching independent movies on TV video-on-demand channels or online via streaming or downloads still needs a big hit to make believers out of moviemakers.

Last month, the Tribeca Film Festival launched an unusual effort to acquire films and release them on video-on-demand (VOD) in an effort to help kick-start the market. Typically, film festivals screen movies, not distribute them.

As the festival wound down earlier this week, the success of Tribeca's effort was still unknown. But market players said VOD and online sales are not likely a financial game-changer anytime soon for the beleaguered independent film industry that in recent years has fallen on hard times as too many indie movies competed for space in too few theaters.

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