Could iTunes be about to open their doors to independent filmmakers?

In a story from Variety, they report that the web portal began selling That, "a snowboarding action pic made for DVD by Forum Snowboards." This is the "first time iTunes has sold video content that didn't come from an established network, studio or distributor."

iTunes hasn't said what future arrangements with indies might ensue. Apparently, they will pick and choose companies to deal with outside of their arrangements with Disney, NBC and Lionsgate.

Apple recently began "selling content from Wasserman Media Group's Studio411, a financier and distributor of skateboarding, motocross, ski and snowboard vids. Action sports studio is the first to get onto iTunes."

That is currently being sold in iTunes TV section for $1.99. It is 30 minutes in length.

Until this deal with Forum, the only short films that iTunes dealt were from Shorts International and Sundance.

Forum even took a cut in pay to get That on iTunes.

"People are not buying DVDs the way they used to, and it's becoming increasingly easy to get (illegal) versions of our content online, so we're thrilled to be able to pioneer an agreement like this with iTunes," stated Mike Nusenow, general manager of the Program, Forum's parent company.

The feeling is that "Forum and Studio411 should both benefit from the much broader audience on iTunes vs. the relatively small number of people who frequent action sports shops."

Evan Jacobs