Filmmaker Wayne Wang (The Joy Luck Club) will debut his new film The Princess of Nebraska for free on YouTube on Oct. 17th, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The film will appear in YouTube’s Screening Room, the section of the site devoted to independent and art house video fare.
Princess is the companion film to another new film of Wang’s titled A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, which will be released theatrically on Sept. 19th. Princess is the story of a Chinese student in Nebraska who travels to San Francisco to get an abortion, with the main character trying to find her identity through various forms of new media.
The decision to release Princess online was part of an overall distribution strategy developed by Magnolia Pictures, Cinetic Rights Management and YouTube. Cinetic sells independent movies to digital channels, but also takes on the job of marketing the films once they’re there. The novelty of a feature film from a well-known (in indie and foreign film buff circles) filmmaker is sure to attract eyeballs, but will audiences watch a 77-minute movie on YouTube?