Sistah Sinema – Online originally launched on Valentine’s Day 2013 streaming over 20 queer women of color films. It was the result of a partnership between Sistah Sinema (a monthly event showcasing queer women of color cinema) and Busk Films (a video-on-demand site), and an extensive Indiegogo campaign that raised over $5K.
“It was an exciting time,” says Sistah Sinema founder Isis Asare. “It really felt like we were starting a movement.”
However, in December 2013 Busk Films decided to focus on aggregating content for other platforms – such as streaming site BIGSTAR Movies — and eliminated its video-on-demand service. While some of the Sistah Sinema titles such as They Call Me Sir and MI: A Different Kind of Girl continued streaming, they would no longer be a part of a collection focused on queer women of color.
“It was a heavy blow,” says Asare. “I took time to think about what I wanted to do differently in terms of marketing, pricing, and platform partnership when I relauch Sistah Sinema – Online, and I never doubted that I would relaunch.”
Sistah Sinema decided to team up with IndieFlix after exploring other platforms. IndieFlix – like Sistah Sinema – focused on indie filmmakers and creating a conversation about cinema. According to Scilla Andreen – IndieFlix’s CEO and one of the few women CEOs in tech – niche marketing and community-brand marketing is key to IndieFlix’s future growth. Partnering with Sistah Sinema is part of a larger effort to showcase cinema that highlights global diversity.
Sistah Sinema reached out to numerous filmmakers to gather assets. The initial launch will highlight nine films, including Finding Juliet by Kanithea Powell, Gender Freak by Rebecca Louisell, and Fiona’s Script by Florencia Manovil.
Powell is pleased that Finding Juliet has found a home. “It’s great that Sistah Sinema is working with great companies like IndieFlix to gain exposure for independent LGBT filmmakers,” she shares.
All films are enjoyed by Sistah Sinema audiences throughout the country. Viewers of the Sistah Sinema collection on IndieFlix will be introduced to independent titles that they may not have heard of before. The partnership with IndieFlix allows Sistah Sinema to focus on independent films that were screened at film festivals, but never released theatrically and had limited availability on Netflix. The hope is to add roughly five titles each month to the platform.
“There is still a long way to go in building a collection that represents all the great films telling the stories of queer women of color, but this is a great re-start,” says Asare, smiling.
Click here to become a member of IndieFlix for $5. Enjoy the Sistah Sinema collection and thousands of other independent films.