January 22, 2010

Mynette Louie


Sundance/YouTube Collaboration Is Next Step In Film's Ongoing Hybrid Distribution Strategy

Park City, UT – Tze Chun's CHILDREN OF INVENTION, one of the most-awarded and best-reviewed festival films of 2009 will be among the five Sundance features to launch YouTube Rentals, the company's new foray into online video-on-demand rentals. The film, about two young children left to fend for themselves when their mother gets embroiled in an illegal pyramid scheme, will be available for rental exclusively at YouTube during the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, which runs January 22 to 31. Additionally, in the tradition of a post-screening Q&A, Chun will be posting video blogs to answer some of the questions that viewers ask in the "Comments" section.

"We're very excited to be taking part in this initiative," said Chun. "YouTube gives us exposure to the largest online video audience in the world, and allows us to engage directly with the community of people interested in our film. CHILDREN OF INVENTION isn't the type of film YouTube is traditionally known for; it's a heartfelt family drama that's built not only to entertain, but also to move the viewer. And at 86 minutes long, it’s probably 85 minutes longer than most videos YouTube users log on to watch. But we're hoping that the YouTube audience, as well as viewers new to YouTube, will see this as a paradigm shift--we hope that they will come to the site to get immersed in a film for an hour and a half, and have the type of experience that one usually reserves for the theaters."

Starting with their first festival after Sundance last year, the filmmakers have been utilizing the film’s critical acclaim and press attention to self-distribute DVDs while on the festival circuit. "Our goal has always been a release strategy that embraces the exciting shifts in audience behavior," Chun said. "And we cannot think of a more perfect partner than the freethinkers at YouTube and Google. After premiering at Sundance last year and playing over 40 festivals, we are happy to come full circle back to Sundance for our online VOD premiere. We hope that this new YouTube platform will bring filmmakers one step closer to reaching their audiences, and let audiences see what truly independent film is capable of!"

Producer Mynette Louie added, "This Sundance-YouTube partnership is totally in line with our hybrid distribution philosophy for this film: capitalize on festival publicity, retain as many rights as possible, and challenge the existing release windows in the hopes of establishing better, more flexible distribution options for indie films." Louie and Chun were recently named in Ted Hope's list of "21 Brave Thinkers Of Truly Free Film."

In yet another example of shifting distribution windows, CHILDREN OF INVENTION will be self-released theatrically in Boston on February 26, and in New York and Los Angeles on March 12. The New York release, facilitated by Variance Films, is a joint, or "DIWO" ("Do It With Others"), release with Dave Boyle's comedy WHITE ON RICE, another festival darling of 2009.

CHILDREN OF INVENTION is available for rent on YouTube from January 22-31 at For more information about the upcoming theatrical release in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles, or to purchase a DVD, go to

There will be a press conference about the YouTube/Sundance initiative on Friday, January 22 at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Details are below:

WHEN: Friday, January 22, 2 p.m. MT
WHERE: The Yard, located at 1251 Kearns Blvd., Park City, UT 84060
WHO: YouTube spokespeople, including David Eun, VP of content partnerships, and participating Sundance filmmakers along with John Cooper, Director of the Sundance Film Festival
WHAT: An informal conversation followed by Q&A
RSVP: Rachael Horwitz, or 206.290.5334



One of Filmmaker Magazine’s "25 New Faces of Independent Film," writer-director Tze Chun makes his feature film debut with one of the most-awarded and best-reviewed films of 2009. CHILDREN OF INVENTION is by turns humorous and heartbreaking, an "edge-of-your-seat family drama" (Spout) that’s both “powerfully moving and rigorously intelligent" (Boston Phoenix).

After being evicted, hardworking single mom Elaine Cheng tries to maintain a normal life for her children, Raymond and Tina. Elaine juggles a number of jobs, including working for a questionable pyramid scheme. When Elaine doesn’t return home one night, nobody knows the kids are home alone, and they are left to fend for themselves. As the days pass, Raymond, a budding inventor, realizes he needs to come up with a plan to take care of his little sister.

Referencing both the mortgage meltdown and suburban Ponzi schemes, “the film finds delicate moments of beauty and grace as its child heroes are forced to make their way” (Filmmaker Magazine). Featuring “gifted child actors--off-the-charts cute, refreshingly free of Hollywood precociousness” (LA Weekly), CHILDREN OF INVENTION is "as close to cinematic purity as one is likely to see this year" (Film Society of Lincoln Center), a timely drama about the influence of the adult world on children and resilience in hard times.

CHILDREN OF INVENTION had its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, played over 40 film festivals, and won 15 festival awards, including Grand Jury or Best Narrative Feature prizes at the Independent Film Festival Boston, Newport International Film Festival, Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, San Diego Asian Film Festival, and Ojai-Ventura International Film Festival. It was named one of the "Top 13 Films of 2009" by Hammer to Nail, and made several "Best Undistributed Films of 2009" lists.

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