Starting this year, Amazon will begin production of films for theatrical and digital releases, providing a new avenue for the distribution of independent films.

Amazon aims to release about 12 films per year in theaters. Four to eight weeks after the theatrical release date, Amazon will release the film on their streaming service Amazon Prime.

Heading this project will be Ted Hope, founder of production company Good Machine, which produced “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “The Brothers McMullen” before being sold to Universal Pictures in 2001. Hope has been a long advocate for aiding the production and distribution of independent films.

Amazon made this announcement after Netflix announced their intentions to enter the film sector, beginning with the sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”