B-Side Entertainment is perhaps best known to film fest regulars as the company behind the online scheduling application found on many festival Web sites -- I've used their calendars for several film festivals in Austin alone. However, the company has also ventured into movie distribution, and offers a number of festival favorites to download and watch online, or to purchase on DVD. The files are DRM-free, too, which is a plus since it's one less thing to worry about. The movie downloads on B-Side are quite affordable, but they aren't free ... well, except for the next week or so.

To lure you over to their site, B-Side is currently offering a free movie download to each person who registers for a new account on their site. You can download one movie at iPod resolution, choosing from feature-length films like The Outdoorsmen and Before the Music Dies, or cool narrative and documentary shorts. If you'd prefer to watch the film at a higher resolution or buy a DVD, B-Side will give you a comparable discount on those prices. I just downloaded Pirate Radio USA, which I saw at Austin Film Festival last year. The iPod-resolution movie is obviously not on a large screen size, but the movie looked and sounded clear on my desktop monitor. I've been wanting to share this movie with some friends, and am glad that B-Side is able to offer it distribution through this alternate model. I'll be interested to see how successful the B-Side distribution efforts will be.