Climbing to number 5 in the iTunes independent chart since its release on Monday, Lad : A Yorkshire Story also enters the family films Top 10 alongside Paddington, Frozen and Despicable Me.
Director Dan Hartley states ‘The success of LAD since its release on iTunes has been unprecedented. As the only self-distributed film to appear in the top 100 it’s testament to the support of our fans and the terrific word of mouth the film has garnered.’
Lad has proved a hit around the world where it won twenty-one international festival awards and five star ratings across iTunes, Amazon and IMDB.
Co-Producer Richard Shean adds ‘What is remarkable is that LAD is now rubbing shoulders with films that have been made on budgets that stretch into the hundreds of millions with marketing budgets to match, yet audiences are choosing to watch a small indie film from the UK with unknown actors.
LAD tells the story of a teenage boy who comes to terms with the loss of his dad when he forms a friendship with a park ranger in the Yorkshire Dales.
The film was cast with members of the Yorkshire Dales community in which writer/director Hartley grew up and was shot on a miniscule budget funded from savings.
After being turned down by every UK distributor the production team took matters into their own hands, touring the film around the fourteen national parks and hosting dozens of community screenings across the UK.
With more films being made than ever before and marketing budgets edging out all but the slickest Hollywood productions, LAD represents a possible turning point in self-distribution.
‘Conventional distributors are risk averse and rely heavily on star power to finance their films but in so doing they neglect what draws audiences to a film, which is a good story’ states Hartley ‘now we as filmmakers have the opportunity to build relationships directly with audiences and that is incredibly powerful.’
The production team now have their sights set on reaching number one and hope that the success of LAD will help them get their next film off the ground, a thriller set in Alaska, which they hope to film in a new studio complex being developed in North Yorkshire.
‘There’s such a wealth of talent up here, we can’t wait to bring our next production back to Yorkshire’ states Hartley.
Lad is available now to rent and buy in the UK on iTunes