Mike Fleming

Exactly one year ago, Kevin Smith was here at Sundance to premiere and hold a distributor auction for Red State. It turned out to be a sham, and Smith pulled a crowd of Jets fans out of the AFC title game only to subject them to a foul-mouthed harangue about how their movie business model sucked before selling the movie to himself for $20. Now, Smith has come in from the cold to announce he’s made a distribution deal with Phase 4. He actually had Lionsgate help out with ancillaries on Red State, so he already had stopped going totally commando. Here’s the release:

Park City, UT (January 23, 2012) – Berry Meyerowitz, President & CEO of Phase 4 Films, announced today that the company has entered into an exclusive distribution deal with SModcast Pictures, the production company founded and run by filmmaker Kevin Smith (Clerks, Chasing Amy, Red State). Through the deal, Phase 4 obtains exclusive rights in the U.S. and Canada to exhibit and distribute up to twelve 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, with the remainder of films being released via all other traditional and digital platforms.

“We had a terrific experience working with Kevin and his team on Red State in Canada, and are thrilled to be embarking on this new venture with him. This label will connect filmmakers and producers with a rabid audience of movie fans that only Kevin Smith can deliver,” said Meyerowitz.

Phase 4 and Kevin Smith will consider movies from all budget levels to release under the label, to form a handpicked collection of unique independent films that resonate with Smith’s and SModcast’s audience. The selected films and filmmakers will also be promoted via Kevin’s vast social and traditional media reach, which includes almost 2,000,000 Twitter followers and nearly 700,000 Facebook friends. Phase 4 and SModCo plan to include an interactive component as well, allowing fans the opportunity to vote for the movie tour to come to their city.

“I had the most fun I’ve ever had in my entire career touring Red State last year,” said Smith. “Watching the movie with an enthusiastic audience and then doing a longer Q&A than the flick itself, jumping on the tour bus and waking up in another city where we’d do it all over again – it felt less like boring ol’ film exhibition and more like punk rock. We learned (and made) lots touring Red State, so now, SModcast Pictures wants to put that experience to good use for other films and filmmakers on smaller road shows for their flicks. We’ll do four or five cities per film, where I’ll intro the movie and do a Q&A with the filmmakers after the screening. At SModcast Pictures, we aim to be the Island of Misfit Toys for flicks!”

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