Rialto International, backed by Bruce Tuchman, has launched a branded on-demand streaming service in Japan focused on independent films and hosted on Amazon’s Prime Video Channels platform.
The Rialto Channel was launched in 1999 in New Zealand, where it was initially known as the Sundance Channel. It has established itself as an award-winning and industry-leading independent film destination for over twenty years.
In Japan, the Rialto-branded venue will showcase current and iconic independent films. Content confirmed at launch or in the future includes “The Rider” by Chloe Zhao; a tribute to recently deceased director Peter Bogdanovich with “The Last Picture Show”; Brad Pitt and Jason Statham in Guy Richie’s “Snatch”; Michael Caine in “Harry Brown”; Sean Connery in “Finding Forrester” by Gus Van Sant; “Miles Ahead” by Ewan McGregor and actor/director Don Cheadle; “Diva” by Jean-Jacques Beineix; Michelle Williams in “Land of Plenty” by Wim Wenders; Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman and Jude Law in “Gattaca”; and “8MM”, with Nicolas Cage.
Among the classics of Japanese independent cinema are “Throne of Blood” by Kurosawa Akira and “Tokyo Story” by Ozu Yasujiro, as well as the contemporary Japanese documentary “Harada, Sculpting for Peace”.
Tuchman, a media entrepreneur and former chairman of Sundance Channel Global, AMC Global, MGM Worldwide Networks and managing director of Nickelodeon Global Network Ventures, launched Rialto International last year as a 50-50 joint venture with Rialto Channel in Nova Scotia. Zeeland. Tuchman and Roger Wyllie, CEO of the Rialto chain in New Zealand, are co-presidents of Rialto International.
Announcing a global rollout, Rialto International launched last year in Australia on Samsung TV Plus. Rialto International’s goal now is to become a leading cross-border curator and packager of branded television services focused on independent cinema. Multi-platform distribution will include streaming media and traditional linear viewing.
“Indie cinema has never been more popular, but the number of branded services offering independent film deals across the world on a cross-platform basis is rare. Linear TV stations and streaming services are looking for brand to attract and retain audiences,” Tuchman said. “Our design since rolling out our new venture has been to set the bar high and partner with top brands in both streaming and traditional media. Video perfectly underlines and complements the relationships we already have with Samsung and Sky, with more deals to come.
“Over the past two decades, Rialto has delivered and continues to deliver a plethora of independent films that emphasize the pinnacle of creative freedom,” Wyllie said. “Indie films have won every Best Picture Oscar for the past five years.”