Programming for the Proletariat

Austin-based web platform Tugg in pilot stage

Programming for the Proletariat

Getting a small-scaled movie onto the big screen is an uphill battle for indie filmmakers, but a new “collective action web-platform” called Tugg may ease the struggle, while simultaneously putting the power of the programmer into the hands of audiences.

Riffing on the Kickstarter model, Austin-based Tugg, co-founded by Nicolas Gonda and Pablo Gonzalez, aims to give film fans more curatorial power. This next part gets a little confusing, so I'll let the press release do the talking:

“Through Tugg, individuals are empowered to select a film, screening time, and nearby theater, and then spread the word to their immediate and online community. Once a necessary amount of people commit to attending, the event will be confirmed, and Tugg will reserve the theater, manage ticketing and ensure delivery of the film; allowing the audience to sit back and enjoy the show.”

Tugg already has partnerships with the Alamo Drafthouse, Regal Cinemas, Cinemark, and AMC, among others, and the company has a “growing library of hundreds of studio and independent films.” Eagle-eyed Austin theatregoers may have already noticed Tugg in beta – tickets for tonight's Cinema 41 presentation of Jim Jarmusch's Mystery Train, for instance, were purchasable through Tugg. Now, maybe you're thinking, hey, hasn't Mystery Train been out on DVD for a while now? Tugg has an answer for that:

“Now an audience can watch a film of their choice, be it current or classic, mainstream or independent, in the multisensory environment only available in a movie theater. Tugg reaffirms the importance and value of the theatergoing experience, and allows exhibitors to court and retain both new audiences and active moviegoers by offering a wider variety of theatrical content.”

Sounds like a welcome antidote to the trend of ever smaller screens. We guarantee Mystery Train is gonna look better on the big screen than on your smartphone.

More Tugg
The Long Trip up the 'Dark Mountain'
The Long Trip up the 'Dark Mountain'
Writer/director Tara Anaïse brings her wilderness horror to Austin

Richard Whittaker, July 29, 2014

Tugg on a Redhead
Tugg on a Redhead
Documentary "Being Ginger" screening in January

Richard Whittaker, Dec. 31, 2013

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Tugg, Cinema 41, film exhibition

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