The social cinema platform Kinema has launched following a $2 million seed funding round backed by key investors, including Kindred Ventures, Lupa System, Galaxy Interactive and I2BF Global Ventures. According to the company, the Kinema platform expands the film marketing and distribution industry by enabling a social and immersive cinema experience. With the goal of eliminating ‘theater deserts’ and expanding access to engaging film, Kinema is building a world-wide network of screening hosts, filmmakers and filmgoers.
“At Kinema, we’re enabling cinematic experiences that are impactful, thought-provoking, engaging and - most importantly - everywhere,” said Christie Marchese, CEO and founder at Kinema. “The pandemic taught us that the film-going experience can exist beyond the traditional movie theater. With Kinema we’re enabling global storytellers to connect with local audiences and putting the power of curation directly in the hands of community leaders and influencers.”
Over the last year, as the ability to gather in large public spaces diminished, the demand for films, shows and community connections grew. As the world makes the gradual transition to reopen, there will be more demand for the ‘new normal’ to which we became accustomed: a colorful variety of large, virtual and small in-person gatherings to enjoy entertainment together. Kinema’s mission is to offer filmmakers and communities alike unique cinematic experiences tailored to communities everywhere. Additionally, the team is committed to being a resource to filmmakers and distributors by providing a new way of digital distribution, marketing and monetization.
The company was initially incubated within and received pre-seed funding from Human Ventures’ startup studio.
“Historically, filmmakers and their audiences have been separated from each other due to traditional intermediaries and conventional industry dynamics. However, we’ve reached an intersection of streaming technology and live virtual experiences that allows for a direct, rich, and authentically new moviegoing experience. Compellingly, Kinema is today building the future of screening movies: secure high-quality streaming in a truly social and distributed way – driven by the filmmakers, curators, and their communities, versus a handful of gatekeepers” said Steve Jang, founder & managing partner of Kindred Ventures. “We are thrilled to lead the seed financing for the Kinema team and help them explore this exciting digital transformation for filmmakers and moviegoers.
Kinema is both a tech platform that enables social cinema, and a network of non-theatrical exhibitors. Kinema’s non-theatrical exhibitors, or hosts, include nonprofits, education institutions, faith centers, and online influencers. In short, anyone or any place that represents or houses a community of people. Hosts can organize online events via the Virtual Kinema, which includes live text chat and live video broadcasting, enabling audiences to connect live with creators, talent and filmmakers. Hosts can also organize in person utilizing the platform’s cloud based, secure film delivery application.
“It was an obvious choice for us to support this endeavor,” said Heather Hartnett, CEO and general partner, Human.vc. “This is an exciting project that is creating an engaging experience for viewers and sharing inspiring stories of incredible filmmakers.”