In today’s film news roundup, Oscilloscope Laboratories and Kino Lorber are offering digital viewing alternatives in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and the DGA Health Plan has announced that participants won’t be charged for telemedicine/telepsychology visits.
Oscilloscope Laboratories has unveiled a 10-film promotion — dubbed Circle of Quarantine — in order to offer distraction, promote social distancing and support the independent film industry during the coronavirus pandemic.
Oscilloscope is offering 10 digital downloads of its films for $49.99 and is donating $10 from every purchase to the Cinema Worker Solidarity Fund, to help those affected in the business. The company noted that it is scrapping its theatrical expansion of “Saint Frances” and will not release the documentary “The Infiltrators” on Friday.
“O-Scope looks to innovate in ways to reach audiences safely in their homes,” it said. “The Circle of Quarantine is an attempt to bridge the social distance.”
Oscilloscope acquired U.S. rights last year to “Saint Frances,” written by and starring Kelly O’Sullivan. The movie premiered at last year’s SXSW Film Festival and won the audience award in the narrative feature competition, as well as a special jury recognition for breakthrough voice. O’Sullivan plays a flailing 34-year-old who lands a much-needed job nannying six-year-old Frances (played by Ramona Edith Williams), but an unwanted pregnancy introduces an unexpected complication.
Kino Lorber is launching a virtual theatrical exhibition initiative called Kino Marquee to enable movie theaters shuttered by the coronavirus outbreak to continue to serve their audiences and generate revenue.
Kino Marquee will open “Bacurau,” starring Sonia Braga and Udo Kier, which would otherwise have screened in traditional theaters. The initiative will consist of virtual screening rooms for participating theaters.
“When theaters started to close, we at Kino Lorber turned our thoughts to how we could collaborate with our independent theater partners across the country. We cannot release the kinds of films we do without their support,” said Wendy Lidell, senior VP of theatrical distribution at Kino Lorber.
The first Kino Marquee screenings online are with New York’s Film at Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Jacob Burns Film Center, Santa Barbara Film Festival’s Riviera Theatre, The Frida Cinema in Santa Ana, Denver Film, Austin Film Society and Loft Cinema in Tucson, Ariz. Films will be booked from Fridays to Thursdays. Ticket buyers on the Kino Marquee site will receive a link allowing admission to an online screening room.
The Directors Guild of America-Producer Health Plan has announced that participants will not be charged for telemedicine/telepsychology visits until further notice.
The plan had previously said all patient cost sharing (co-pays, co-insurance and deductibles) will be waived for in-network COVID-19-related testing through June 15.
“During this challenging and unprecedented time caused by the coronavirus outbreak, many physicians’ offices and therapists’ offices are not seeing patients in-person to prevent further spread of the virus,” the plan said.
“For the continued protection and safety of all Health Plan participants, the Board of Trustees has approved temporary changes to Health Plan coverage in response to the evolving coronavirus crisis. These changes take into account the importance of COVID-19 testing and related treatment, as well as the need for limiting in-person interactions and social gatherings to the extent possible, as recommended by health authorities.”