In a day when the Hollywood studios have become ever more dependent on big budget event films and franchise tentpoles the importance of the independent producer in North America has never been more obvious. If you like superheroes and pirates the studios are great, sure, but there is a much broader range of issues and stories out there and it is in the independents that we find a broader experience of cinema.
Seldom has the independent film scene in North America been as rich and vital as it is today, perhaps not financially – as producers continue to struggle to finance and distribute their films – but in the range of talent discovered and styles of film embraced. The films in this year’s competition are a diverse lot, ranging from serious dramas to light comedies and dark thrillers and it seems clear that these films contain the first steps of a number of tomorrow’s major stars. Expect to see more of actresses Brit Marling and Elizabeth Olsen in future years, the duo hailed as the leaders of a new wave of young female talent at this year’s Sundance Festival. And expect more from budding auteurs such as Sean Durkin and Evan Glodell behind it.
2011 has been a year of discovery in the independent film scene, every familiar
face – and we have lots of those as well – matched with some brash
new talent. Discover some of that talent for yourself here.