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Programming for the Proletariat

Austin-based web platform Tugg in pilot stage

By Kimberley Jones, 12:00PM, Wed. Feb. 22, 2012

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.

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