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By Ian Mohr

Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner's 2929 Entertainment has launched an initiative dubbed Truly Indie that gives filmmakers access to the marketing and sales tools needed to roll out a film without a traditional distributor. Move is the latest from upstart 2929, which has been tinkering with traditional distribution models for its own indie pics by releasing them simultaneously via its theatrical and cable arms. Truly Indie will allow a filmmaker to retain pic rights, and Cuban told Daily Variety that most of a pic's box office profits will usually go to a project's producers, though each deal will vary. According to 2929, the Truly Indie program will supply filmmakers basic marketing services offered by theatrical distribs, including publicity, promotion, press screenings and advertising. Films released through the initiative will each have a customized campaign. Program is designed to accommodate a range of budgets, depending on which markets a filmmaker chooses to target. Truly Indie has strategic partnerships with theaters in 20 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Seattle. It is in negotiations to extend the program to additional markets. The Landmark chain is owned by 2929.

"There are many filmmakers producing compelling, original projects who do not have access to traditional distribution," Wagner said. "Despite the promise of the digital revolution, these filmmakers still face almost insurmountable hurdles in reaching theatrical audiences. We wanted to find new ways to open the market to these films. Truly Indie offers a much-needed safety net for quality independent films." First pic to roll out through Truly Indie will be writer-helmer duo Ian Gamazon and Neill Dela Llana's "Cavite." Pic, which follows an American in the Philippines who learns his mother and sister have been kidnapped, is repped by John Pierson in conjunction with his advanced producing class at the U. of Texas at Austin. Pierson said the pic will roll out digitally through Truly Indie, targeting Filipino and college auds as part of its core demo. Other titles to roll out under the new 2929 plan will include helmer Donal Logue's "Tennis Anyone," starring Jason Isaacs, Paul Rudd and Stephen Dorff, and Mari Marchbanks' feature debut, "Fall to Grace."

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