GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Spout, the first online community focused on connecting film lovers with great films and the people who have something to say about them, today announced the official launch of http://spout.com at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas. The new site offers advanced user-centric tools that give film fans a real community online, and a better experience for discussing, organizing and buying all kinds of films. The tools developed for use on spout.com not only give users new capabilities, they create a better and more trusted human-centered user experience. In Spout's trust economy, the focus isn't on merely presenting product, it's on leveraging better technology tools for helping people communicate via the ever-evolving Internet. "There have been a lot of exciting developments on the Internet when it comes to new tools, but so much of it is just technology for the sake of technology -- a short-lived excitement generated around what's possible to build," says Rick DeVos, founder and CEO of Spout. "Spout goes beyond this by pushing these technologies to new limits as a part of the most rapidly developing area of Web technology today. We are committed to utilizing our site capabilities to create and enhance human experiences and interaction with the community and with film itself. " Spout was founded in 2005 by DeVos and three other passionate film fans and filmmakers in Grand Rapids, MI. The idea emerged from a vision to create a trusted place between the multiplex and the film festival where fans can gather to find, enjoy and discuss films. While other film-related sites rely on discounts and promotions to attract a following, Spout's loyalty base is built on community and the personalized, integrated tools that help people organize and respond to films. And while other sites offer computer-generated recommendations, spout.com uses real people -- experts or mavens -- to help consumers sort through the thousands of films they could choose. Spout members search for, organize, recommend and buy their favorite films, as well as interact with each other via an agile and easy-to-use online interface. Personalized film tags like "profound," "guilty-pleasure" or "cops" replace typical genre labels like "romance" or "adventure," further personalizing the search for films, while extensive integration of the tools connects films and people in all kinds of relevant ways. People are connected not just based on movie purchases or searches, but by their personal profile, which grows and changes each time they visit the site. Spout also gives passionate film fans powerful tools for supporting offline film communities, which will continue to emerge at film festivals and through micro-cinema and other Spout-sponsored events. "We see Spout filling an immediate need for people to reconnect with films and other people, extending the film experience beyond the run-time of a film or the dates of a festival," says DeVos. "Spout.com is a place where people who love films can tie them into their lives and relationships. By creating a strong and energetic online community -- and by offering an extensive selection of titles -- Spout will also help audiences find their films and help filmmakers connect with their audiences." With digital film production and new distribution technologies, DeVos says the time is right for online, community-based connections, with Spout's DVD sales serving as a backdrop to the community. As the site develops, Spout will organically build a foundation for its ultimate goal: creating a grassroots alternative to Hollywood's promotion and distribution model and allowing the work of more filmmakers to reach their audiences. Spout will be hosting the Spout Web Lounge at SXSW from March 12-14, 2006. This center will provide festival attendees with convenient Internet access, as well as a place to take a break from the screenings to discuss films with the founders of Spout. In addition, Spout will host a happy hour at the SXSW Day Stage Cafe on March 13, 2006 from 4:45pm to 6:00pm, giving film fans a chance to experience Spout offline. About Spout: Spout, which was founded in 2005 by four filmmakers and film fans in Grand Rapids, MI, is an online community where users can find films, meet people and have a much richer Internet community experience. A blend of technology, personalization and passion ignites and differentiates the spout.com community and gives consumers a unique place to buy, discuss and organize their favorite films. Spout's mission is to close the large time and marketing gaps that exist between film festivals, multiplexes and living rooms. In addition, Spout draws people from throughout the film value chain to build a robust online community, with the goal of building an alternative, grassroots promotion and distribution channel for filmmakers.