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Last week YouTube unveiled a new channel, The Screening Room. I hadn’t had the chance to view any of the featured films so far, but that changed yesterday, when I finally got to spend considerable time checking them.

And what a wonderful concept this is! I first found out about it through Cool Hunting. Their review of “4960” was stellar, so that was enough to get me interested:

One of the must-sees is from New York Based director, Wing-Yee Wu. Her haunting short, “4960” conveys more chilling emotion and evocative story-teling in 14 minutes than many directors manage in two hours. Shot during her graduate film studies at NYU, the film is set during the siege in Sarajevo and follows a young couple as they attempt to communicate from two different sides of the world. Raised in Sweden by Chinese parents, Wu did her undergraduate studies at Central Saint Martins College in London. With such a unique, international background, her work conveys the universality of emotion that transcends barriers of both language and geography.

They got it right. The film is mesmerizing and of such high quality. As a matter of fact, the whole selection is a feast for the eyes. YouTube is up to something big with this new channel. I wonder when we will see complete feature films in high definition, opening the door to a new world of indie film distribution. This is a service to keep an eye on, both for consumers of good quality films and for directors and producers who would like to reach new audiences. I wonder if we are witnessing the baby steps of a new digital distribution era.

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