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BitTorrent and Cinedigm partner for groundbreaking Hollywood digital distribution deal

BitTorrent has teamed up with digital distributor Cinedigm to support the upcoming release of feature film Arthur Newman, the first time Hollywood film content has premiered within the torrent ecosystem.

Before the film's limited theatrical release on 26 April in the US (a full UK release date has yet to be confirmed), users can download and watch the first 10 minutes of the new Colin Firth/Emily Blunt flick via the BitTorrent bundle.

"This is a visionary move by Cinedigm and represents a significant shift in how the media industry perceives BitTorrent," Shahi Ghanem, chief strategy officer of BitTorrent, said in a statement.

"Cinedigm is one of our most forward-thinking partners and the first with a theatrical release of such magnitude. We're able to connect Cinedigm with real movie fans that actively support content creators and by doing so BitTorrent can demonstrate how we add value through continued innovation."

Included in BitTorrent's Arthur Newman bundle is the exclusive 10 minute video, more than 50 behind-the-scenes stills, a high-resolution movie poster, and the film's trailer.

"Cinedigm's entrepreneurial marketing style is reflected in this partnership between Silicon Valley and Hollywood," Cinedigm chief marketing officer Jill Newhouse Calcaterra said in a statement. "By offering consumers legitimate content via the BitTorrent suite of office products, we continue to find creative ways to locate avid audiences for our films."

As the LA Times noted recently, US-based Cinedigm is known for helping convert theatres from film to digital, and is now focusing on the digital distribution of films.

Arthur Newman debuted at this year's Toronto Film Festival and is the story of a man (Firth) who fakes his death to find a new life, and encounters another damaged soul (Blunt), who helps him heal. The film was written by the Oscar-nominated Becky Johnston and directed by first-timer Dante Ariola.

Last week, BitTorrent opened the doors to the beta version of its new Web client, Surf, which launched in January in alpha mode. The updated version is now available for Chrome and Firefox, and allows users to download content directly from and into their browser. Additionally, the file-sharing service in March introduced peer-to-peer live streaming, as well as Sync, which lets users synchronise personal files across multiple devices.