SingularDTV Hits Major International Film Festivals

With a productive Toronto International Film Festival in the rearview and a panel at the Zurich Film Festival this weekend, SingularDTV is taking the spotlight in the film industry.

This weekend marks the 13th edition of the Zurich Film Festival, which has grown into one of the most prestigious film industry gatherings on the globe. This year’s event will feature showings of some hotly tipped films: Aaron Sorkin’s “Molly’s Game,” Denis Villenueve’s “Blade Runner 2049,” and 158 other features and shorts will be screened, while luminaries like Jake Gyllenhaal, Rob Reiner, and even Al Gore will all participate in the festivities. And to top it all off: SingularDTV is an official sponsor of this year’s Zurich Film Festival!

Alongside the fancy soirees (like SingularDTV’s Filmmaker Brunch on Friday) and tightly curated premieres, the Zurich Film Festival is acknowledged for its series of talks and panels that address forward-thinking perspectives on art and industry — The Zurich Summit.

SingularDTV is honored and enthused to be hosting a panel on Saturday, September 30th at the Dolder Grand Theatre entitled ‘The Blockchain Phenomenon and Its Impact on Entertainment.’

The talk will feature insights from SingularDTV’s own founders: Zach LeBeau (CEO), Kim Jackson (President of Entertainment), and Arie Levy-Cohen (CFO) among others, and will headline the day’s proceedings, followed by a reception hosted by SingularDTV. The Zurich Film Festival’s panel programming this year favors tech with segments on virtual reality, computer-generated actors, and digital distribution, but for the first time ever, blockchain will take center stage.

Last week, members of SingularDTV’s Entertainment Division joined the behemoth Toronto International Film Festival with an eye on acquiring content and spreading the gospel of decentralization. With almost half a million people attending this year, the Toronto International Film Festival is a blitz of high-profile premieres and events, and is the meeting ground for major players making big moves that play a definitive role in the entertainment world.

We caught up with Jason Tyrrell (Vice President of Content) and Lynette Coll (Content Coordinator) of SingularDTV’s Entertainment Division to get insights on what the film festival experience is like, and what to expect from SingularDTV’s content in the near future.

From the left: SingularDTV’s Oliver Marhdt, Lynette Coll, and Jason Tyrrell

What’s the directive on projects SingularDTV is looking to acquire?

Jason Tyrrell: We’re looking for true artists, creators with a strong point of view, and a visionary implementation. On top of that tall order, we’re also interested in the disruptors, those that see the challenges facing us as an industry and want to invest in something new. And we’re looking for underrepresented stories, narratives that bring us into a world not often seen in today’s film and television offerings.

Lynette Coll: Since our initial audience or demographic is into the world of cryptocurrency — tech, futurism, globalism, human potential — that will be our initial focus when looking for films. Horror, thrillers, crime thrillers and sci-fi all fit well with our vision. We are looking for filmmakers with a very specific point of view, something to say, and a unique voice. We like movies that are edgy, sexy, bold, high quality, and with a global appeal.

How do you think the film industry will react to the prospect of decentralization?

Jason Tyrrell: It will be a slow, but inevitable adoption. Once pandora’s box is opened, there will be no closing it. But there’s a lot of money being made by a lot of people invested in keeping the industry centralized. Thankfully, artists and audiences are the ones who will most benefit from decentralization, millions of people around the world who will demand this necessary and sustainable change.

What stuck out to you as a major trend at TIFF this year?

Lynette Coll: Being a Latina female artist and producer, the fact that there were so many good female performances, strong female characters, and filmmakers with unique voices this year really stuck out to me. Women like Brie Larsen, Angelina Jolie, and Coralie Fargeat all made big strides in roles both in front of and behind the camera, and that was really exciting to see.

What’s the hustle and bustle of TIFF like, particularly when you’re there on a mission?

Jason Tyrrell: At its peak, you can be getting up at 6AM and flopping into bed at 3AM. You have to pack a lot into the festival experience — meetings, film screenings, panel conversations, parties — while still leaving room for the unplanned magic of a random catch up over poutine, or a new friendship made while standing in line somewhere.

What roles do film festivals play in the long-term SDTV vision?

Jason Tyrrell: A large role, to be sure. We’re going to have a presence at most of the major festivals on the year’s calendar, as well as some of the more exciting regional festivals, thanks to our global presence. We’ll be looking for films, filmmakers, and strategic business partners on the festival circuit for the foreseeable future.

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