An online screening of revolutionary movie This Is Not A Love Song ran into trouble almost before it had begun - prompting organisers to issue an apology to viewers worldwide.

The film from The Full Monty writer Simon Beaufoy, the first to be premiered on the internet, ran into trouble because organisers had not anticipated the wealth of enthusiasm in the online screening - and consequently the site had collapsed with the pressure.

This Is Not A Love Song, a gritty, low-budget British thriller, went online at 6pm on Friday (5SEP03) with 75,000 people worldwide attempting to view it, but the demand caused the system to crash almost immediately.

Much of the funding for the movie came from the BRITISH FILM COUNCIL, and spokesman IAN THOMSON defended the film saying, "It has proved a great experiment.

"We are working to restore the site and the good news is that it has proved there is an audience and distribution channel for this work. It means people have watched the film and we are hoping it will encourage others to see the benefits."

He adds, "Our hope now is distributors will see this success and consider picking it up for the cinemas."

The film was written for the internet because Beaufoy was frustrated at how difficult it is for small films to get distribution deals.

07/09/2003 21:00