Irish Production Company and Distributors Element Pictures officially launched their video on demand service Volta yesterday with Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gealtacht Jimmy Deenihan TD at the Smock Alley Theatre.
Although the site has been live since last year the service wasn’t officially launched until this week. As part of the launch Element announced that John Michael McDonagh’s black comedy ‘The Guard’, starring Brendan Gleeson, is currently exclusively available on the site for stream or download. The VOD service focuses on Irish film with movies like ‘The Guard’, ‘The Secret of Kells’, ‘Garage’ and ‘As If I’m Not There’ in their catalogue with ‘Sensation’ and ‘Parked’ joining soon. There is no subscription fee for the service and members can opt to rent or buy the films with prices starting at €3.99. Selected films will also be available on the site on the day of their theatrical release. Volta is also currently planning a partnership with RTÉ to acquire RTÉ produced drama to feature on the site.
Speaking at the launch Minister Deenihan touched on the significance of the service for Irish consumers and the Irish film industry, he said, “This unique new service will bring the best of Irish and international independent films to a much wider audience than was previously possible. As part of the Element Picture group, Volta marks a major shift in the development of online platforms for film consumption in Ireland.”
Andrew Lowe co-founder of Element spoke about the service saying, “We are delighted to launch Volta, the first Irish owned Video On Demand service in the Irish market. As an active production, distribution, and, since the re-launch of the Light House cinema in Dublin’s Smithfield, an exhibition company, we are uniquely placed to present and promote the best Irish and international independent cinema in a convenient and cost effective way. We are launching Volta now as advances in technology and broadband infrastructure make the service technically viable, changes in the retail sector make it essential to create a space where specialist cinema can be discovered and consumed, and there is an onus on the industry to provide safe and legal alternatives to pirated films. We are very pleased to launch Volta with The Guard available exclusively on our service.”
Volta has received support from the Irish Film Board and the European Union MEDIA programme. To find out more visit the site at www.volta.ie