Are indie movies thriving as Hollywood fall apart? The devastating COVID-19 pandemic has hit Hollywood hard, with over 120,000 jobs disappearing like a cloud of smoke, resulting in the canceling or delaying of many movie and TV productions. The devastating numbers are directly from labor union “International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees”, IATSE who represents about 150,000 members, from which 80% have already lost their jobs.
More and more movies and TV-shows have pulled the plug on their productions as Corona makes its destructive way through our world. They simply don’t have the budget required to wait for the world to go back to normal. Big productions delayed as the profits rely much on cinema-goers and physical blue-ray/dvd purchases. The marketing budgets stretched thin as they have to campaign movies like Mulan and Wonder Woman longer than anticipated.
Will this be a second chance for unsold/undersold indie movies?
The cinematic world stands in shock in wake of Corona, but will it adapt? I believe it will, and perhaps even with independent movies coming out on the other end stronger than ever! Studios, cinemas, distributors, filmmakers are all experiencing a halt in production, making unsold independent films a yummy candy store for big streamer companies like Apple TV Plus, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix.
With people all around the world forced to stay at home the entire world is streaming more than ever. The demand for new movies is huge, opening up the possibilities for unsold or undersold independent films to finally reach our screens! On that note, let’s take a look at the top 5 independent movies that we might be able to watch in the near future. Bare in mind that the titles may change after being picked up by distributors.
What is life worth
Director Sara Colangelo delivers yet another independent movie to Sundance after winning the 2018 Sundance Directing Award for “The Kindergarten Teacher”. This time with the movie “What is life worth” which premiered on Sundance Film Festival on January 24, 2020. The movie portrays the horrible aftermath of 9/11. The difficult battle to figure out a good way to compensate the 9/11 victims families.
Based on a true story, we see DC-attorney Kenneth Feinberg, played by Michael Keaton who was appointed Special Master of the U.S. government’s September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. We follow his story when he fights politics, cynicism and bureaucracy while trying to figure out a fair compensation for the families suffering in consequence of the horrific terrorist attack.
Dave Franco, known for acting in movies like “Nerve” and “21 Jump Street” now decided to try out Directing in the new indie movie “The Rental”. The movie has been picked up by IFC, but the plot is still fairly unknown. The Star lineup includes Alison Brie (fan favorite Unikitty in Lego Movie), Dan Stevens (Beast in Beauty and the Beast) and Jeremy Allen White (Shameless favorite!)
Co-written with Joe Swanberg this horror/thriller flick will be yet another “vacation gone wrong” – movie. It’s not really new or original in the horror scene, but let’s see if it works! A Directorial Debut for Franco, who says the movie will be a character-driven horror thriller. It will portray two couples going on a celebratory weekend get-away but end up getting something far more sinister.
The Night House
This is personally the indie movie I look forward to the most, with David Bruckner as director. Known for gems like The Ritual, Southbound and V/H/S we can already have some certainty he will deliver yet another original, hopefully epic horror movie! Writers Ben Collins and Luke Piotrowski, both known for 2017 awesome horror flick “Super Dark Times” will be part of the mix, sweetening the already awesome deal.
The story will follow Beth (acted by Rebecca Hall), a New York schoolteacher. Completely blindsided by her loved ones suicide after 14 years of marriage, she begins to uncover disturbing secrets about her recently deceased husband.
Directed by Alex Huston Fischer and Eleanor Wilson this indie comedy/sci-fi film might also be a gem to look out for. Aquried by Bleecker Street we can expect it to show up at Hulu within the near future.
The comedy movie follows a young Brooklyn couple who are looking to escape from social media and reconnect with themselves. Ditching their phones at home they head upstate for a weekend, missing the news of an alien attack.
The Painter and the Thief
Directed by Benjamin Ree, The Painter and the Thief already seems to be a hit! Neon, an American film production and distribution company, quickly picked up the documentary after its premier at Sundance. Known for movies like Ingrid Goes West, Beach Rats, I, Tonya, and Parasite – film production company Neon will surely get it to our screens!
The Painter and the Thief documentary portrays the stranger-than-fiction friendship between painter Barbora and art thief Karl-Bertil, as the artist actually befriends the junky thief who stole two of her artworks. Said to be a twisted, dramatic and beautiful story that shows us how a connection can occur even in the most unlikely events.
Is it time for an indie era?
Big streaming companies like Netflix and Amazon Prime are already doing their part to help independent films reach our screens. But the COVID-19 virus might push it even further. With productions put on pause this year we might see it affecting not only this years releases, but those of next year. Luckily there are many unsold indie movies out there that might now get a second chance. One can only hope! Which independent film are you looking forward to the most? Let me know on Twitter!
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