As one of the few major video streaming services, Amazon Video Direct also offers small, independent filmmakers the opportunity to offer their films via the platform or to apply for distribution. After a content check, the accepted films are included in the film catalogue and released to subscribers - a welcome opportunity for indie filmmakers to finance their work.
Recently, however, Amazon is said to have removed up to 1,000 such indie films from its offering, even though they originally received a green license. A move that is now causing some resentment in the indie scene, especially as the producers have not been informed that their films have been removed from distribution, and there is no concrete indication as to why the films in question have been removed. "During a quality assurance review, we found that your titles contain content that do not meet our customer content quality expectations" is merely the wording of a ready-made reply to one of the filmmakers concerned.
In many cases, the films seem to be low-budget or micro-budget films from relevant trash genres, but many similar films are still available on Amazon Video Direct. A petition has been launched against this step, which seems arbitrary to outsiders. It has already been signed over 3000 times.
The reasons for this revaluation by Amazon can only be speculated about -- possibly the procedure is a reaction to the illegal upload of a recent Japanese feature film, One Cut of the Dead. The low-budget zombie film, which was very successful in Japan, was offered by unauthorized persons in a bootleg version via Amazon Video Direct and only removed after a few days. It can´t be ruled out that Amazon has also classified other films as somehow "suspicious".