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BitTorrent Teams with Award-Winning Filmmaker Jos de Putter; Online Distributor VODO; and Hybrid Releasing Company Cinema Purgatorio to Release ‘Beyond the Game’ Documentary

BitTorrent Inc., a leading innovator creating advanced technologies to efficiently move large files across the Internet, and Cinema Purgatorio, a leading film distribution company bringing films to movie theaters, discs, and downloads, today released ‘Beyond the Game’, a festival-acclaimed but otherwise hard-to-find film from award winning Dutch documentary filmmaker Jos de Putter, which tracks a historic competition between cross-cultural gamers leading up to the 2008 Games in Seattle, WA.

Beyond the Game primarily revolves around Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne, and prominently features world champion players Chinese Xiaofeng Li (Sky), Dutch Manuel Schenkhuizen (Grubby) & Swede Fredrik Johansson (MaDFroG). To release the film via BitTorrent’s ongoing Artist Spotlight experiments, de Putter and his U.S.-based hybrid distribution collaborators Cinema Purgatorio chose to partner with VODO, an innovative UK-based Web site helping independent filmmakers bridge the digital divide; and BitTorrent, a technology and software company with a user base exceeding 100 million monthly active users.

“’Beyond the Game’ is an intense documentary film about the world of gaming, with many elements to resonate with our digitally-sophisticated community,” said Shahi Ghanem, chief strategist at BitTorrent Inc. “As we continue to build out our technology ecosystem of software, content and devices, we’re excited to help vanguard artists connect with our massive user base, access their home entertainment set-ups and build new media distribution models.”

“We are glad to team with BitTorrent, VODO, and fans worldwide to bring the film to a worldwide audience,” says Ray Privett of Cinema Purgatorio. “BitTorrent is an extremely important new distribution partner for releasing films. They are another link in the chain of companies that have facilitated film distribution, like express shipping organizations, and new, more economical film and video stock manufacturers. Cinema Purgatorio is excited to team with BitTorrent and with VODO to find distribution solutions that reach broadband audiences – as with the free downloads – while also reaching the still large and significant audience of people who cherish physical DVDs or for whom this is still the best method to see a film. This hybrid strategy is integral to Cinema Purgatorio's methods.”

“Jos de Putter is a magnificent filmmaker, whose work has probed and highlighted remarkable cultural changes of the last twenty years,” Privett continued. “From the transformation of the Dutch countryside through rebellion in Chechnya to the interpersonal communication transformations evident in online-gaming, de Putter has a remarkable eye for social and cultural transformation. We're glad to work with him on such an appropriately transformational kind of film release.”

“As a filmmaker, my distribution options are currently very limited. Film festivals are an outstanding venue for showcasing my work to people who value independent creations, but doesn’t attract a large audience,” said de Putter. “The established movie distribution machine has the audience, but is more interested in blockbusters.”

Continued de Putter, “BitTorrent and VODO as a team represent the only true mass distribution network for independent films. Better yet, it’s free, there’s no need for expensive Web servers, and I can offer TV-ready versions for people to download immediately. With all of those groundbreaking benefits, we’re willing to explore new ideas for generating value and revenue.”

Fans of Beyond the Game, and of this style of film release, will support the release via vodo.net/beyondthegame, through micro-donations scaled from $5 and up. From those donations, fans receive premium downloads of additional interviews of leading Warcraft players, DVDs with exclusive extras, online chats with de Putter, t-shirts and sweatshirts, and even airfare to upcoming events.

Perhaps most uniquely, donations will also earn credits, and even executive producer credits, on the manufactured DVD that will release in May to stores across the U.S. and Canada, and worldwide via CinemaPurgatorio.com.

Fans may watch the trailer here, visit the film’s Web site here, download the torrent file here, or simply download the latest versions of BitTorrent Mainline or µTorrent and accept the free film.

About BitTorrent

BitTorrent creates advanced, innovative technologies to efficiently move large files across the Internet. The company's two main products today include the original BitTorrent software and the tiny-but-mighty µTorrent, which combined boast over 100+ million users. BitTorrent is based in San Francisco, Calif. More information is available at www.bittorrent.com.

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