Kinema, a new “social cinema” platform dedicated to building a non-theatrical movie distribution network across the globe, has officially launched on the heels of a $2 million seed funding round back by key investors including Kindred Ventures, Lupa System, Galaxy Interactive and I2BF Global Ventures, it was announced today.
The platform’s goal is to eliminate so-called “theater deserts” and expand access to film by cultivating a worldwide nexus of screening hosts, filmmakers and moviegoers “tailored to communities everywhere.” In addition, it aims to be a resource for filmmakers and distributors by offering a new avenue for digital distribution, marketing and monetization.
Kinema’s community of non-theatrical exhibitors, which it calls “hosts,” include nonprofits, education institutions, faith centers and online influencers. Through the platform, hosts can organize online events via the Virtual Kinema, which includes live text chat and live video broadcasting allowing viewers to connect in real time with creators, talent and filmmakers. Hosts can also organize in-person events by utilizing Kinema’s cloud-based film delivery application.
“At Kinema, we’re enabling cinematic experiences that are impactful, thought-provoking, engaging and – most importantly – everywhere,” said Christie Marchese, CEO and founder at Kinema, in a statement. “The pandemic taught us that the film-going experience can exist beyond the traditional movie theater. With Kinema we’re enabling global storytellers to connect with local audiences, and putting the power of curation directly in the hands of community leaders and influencers.”
Prior to the seed funding round, Kinema was incubated within and received pre-seed funding from Human Ventures’ startup studio. In stealth while fundraising, the company and its host network have already hosted over 450 screenings for tens of thousands of users. They recently partnered with influencers and the creative community for the AAPI Storyteller’s Festival on Virtual Kinema.
“Historically, filmmakers and their audiences have been separated from each other due to traditional intermediaries and conventional industry dynamics. However, we’ve reached an intersection of streaming technology and live virtual experiences that allows for a direct, rich, and authentically new moviegoing experience,” said Steve Jang, Founder & Managing Partner of Kindred Ventures. “Compellingly, Kinema is today building the future of screening movies: secure high-quality streaming in a truly social and distributed way – driven by the filmmakers, curators, and their communities, versus a handful of gatekeepers. We are thrilled to lead the seed financing for the Kinema team and help them explore this exciting digital transformation for filmmakers and moviegoers.”
“It was an obvious choice for us to support this endeavor,” added Heather Hartnett, CEO and General Partner, Human.vc. “This is an exciting project that is creating an engaging experience for viewers and sharing inspiring stories of incredible filmmakers.”
More information can be found at kinema.com.