By Sahil Patel
The Orchard is primarily known as an independent music, video, and film distribution company, but it also operates a YouTube multi-channel network that consistently ranks among comScore’s top 10 in the US. In fact, the network reached 18.1 million unique viewers in July. Now, similar to fellow distributors like Cinedigm, The Orchard is expanding into original content.
The company is partnering with the New York Television Festival to offer a guaranteed six-episode digital series order to a filmmaker participating in this year’s festival. Dubbed the Orchard Go Project, the winner will be selected from the festival’s Official Artists program, and will produce the series in partnership with The Orchard and NYTVF.
Once completed, the series will be made available via The Orchard’s YouTube network, the companies said.
The partnership brings the total number of deals offered by the NYTVF in 2014 to 28, and is the second “guaranteed digital series” offer — the first being an unscripted lifestyle series opportunity from Scripps Networks Interactive’s Travel Channel and ulive.
The Orchard operates in more than 25 global markets, and says it’s “rapidly expanding” its film and television distribution efforts. The company recently acquired a slate of recent festival favorites, including the Sundance Grand Jury Documentary Prize winner “Rich Hill,” “Community” creator Dan Harmon’s “Harmontown,” and two films from the Tribeca Film Festival, “Point and Shoot” and “The Canal.”