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Amazon targets indie film world

The Seattle-based online retailer is now targeting fans and makers of independent films through a program called Video Advantage.

Amazon.com is now targeting fans and makers of independent and special-interest films with Amazon Video Advantage.

The Seattle-based online retailer is adding the independent video offering to its existing Advantage for Books and Music, which helps customers locate obscure or rare titles.

According to Amazon, Video Advantage will help independent filmmakers tackle one big problem: distribution after a film is made.

Through the program, filmmakers will send Amazon the videos that they want to sell in bulk, along with content descriptions they want posted on the site.

"It will look like any other video we're selling," said Amazon spokesman Paul Capelli. "It will be just like when you click on a blockbuster."

Amazon collects about 45 percent of every video sale, with the rest going back to the filmmakers, he said.

Video Advantage will be open to any genre of film or video, including film noir, spoofs, fitness, film documentaries, and instructional videos, the company said.

To launch, Amazon is offering films by University of Southern California students. Called Cameras on Campus, the 62-minute compilation of art house, drama, and comedy films is available for $14.95.