What does independent film look like today?

via Maryland Film Festival

The slow roll into summer is the time of year when we start to look at our big-picture tasks, so it seems appropriate to share a big-picture article about the state of film.

For The New Yorker, Richard Brody wrote a lengthy piece about the state of “independent film” and what the term means in 2016. Independent film has always distinguished itself from Hollywood by its open experimentation, as well as by what Brody calls the “perpetual crisis” of needing to find a direction to transform film. In his summary of the Maryland Film Festival, Brody sees the current crisis as a resistance to the entire form of the feature film. Digital distribution and cheap production with phones have outmoded the long-standing system of pitching films at festivals for theatrical release. Can “indie filmmaking” grow past its old habits?

Brody’s article profiles a few interesting entries from the Maryland Film Festival, but more importantly, it shows what independent film now looks like from the ground. Filmmakers, producers, and others continue to meet behind closed doors to talk frankly about their industry. There’s community, but increasingly, it’s one that wants to shake out of its usual structure.

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