After a short festival run in 2013, the dark comedy Chez Upshaw is now on its way to small screens via Amazon, iTunes and Google Play.
The dark comedy stars Kevin Pollak and Illeana Douglas as the Upshaws, a couple heading for divorce and financial ruin when they decide to turn their failing bed-and-breakfast joint into a safe haven for assisted suicides.
The film, written and directed by Bruce Mason, showed at the 2013 Atlanta Film Festival, Palm Beach Film Festival, the Independent Film Quarterly Festival, the Boston International Film Festival, the Independent Filmmakers Showcase (where Mason was awarded the award for best director) and the San Diego Film Festival (where it won the chair’s award).
Despite the reception on the festival circuit, the film was never in wide theatrical release nor issued a home DVD release.
As of Oct. 30, however, Chez Upshaw will become available for download on Amazon, iTunes and Google Play.
The film also stars American model and actor Molly Simms and veteran actor George Koe (who died in July 2015). It is Mason’s first feature-length film and his first digital release.
It’s more common to see digital platforms and transactional VOD services become the home for festival releases that don’t often hit wide theatrical releases. In June, Sundance launched the streaming service Shorts on SundanceTV, an online hub for some of Sundance Film Festival’s most popular shorts. In January, Isuma Distribution launched an “online film festival” showcasing Inuit and Aboriginal titles, along with favourites from the Toronto International Film Festival. Recently, U.K. SVOD Mubi acquired VOD rights to the title Arabian Nights following its festival run.
No details have been released yet on the price of Chez Upshaw.