Indie filmmakers brace for hit from recession

Fri May 2, 2008 3:01am EDT
 
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By Stephen Galloway

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - How vibrant is the independent film scene? How much does it depend on the major film festivals? How useful are the markets that accompany them?

On the eve of the Cannes Film Festival and its attendant market, The Hollywood Reporter discussed those matters with four experts: Newsweek film critic David Ansen; Kirk D'Amico, president and CEO of Myriad Pictures, a production and sales company; talent agent Cassian Elwes, co-head of William Morris Independent; and Mark Gill, CEO of finance and production company the Film Department.

THR: LET ME THROW OUT A STATEMENT: THE INDEPENDENT FILM

SCENE IS AS FLOURISHING AS IT HAS EVER BEEN. TRUE OR FALSE?

GILL: True, with a bullet in the wrong direction. There's more money in it, certainly, than there ever has been before. There's more studio interest than there has been before. But there are two parts of it that are falling apart: One is that the sort of movie that's really hoping to get into Sundance, of which there are 5,000 a year, can't seem to find distribution or a way to get to the audience. And the other is that all the money that's fueled a lot of this boom is about to go away.

THR: THE MOVIES THAT CAN'T GET INTO SUNDANCE BEING THE

ULTRA-LOW-BUDGET MOVIES?

GILL: The under $7 million or $8 million movies. The market for those is extremely tough. Every now and again, there's a "Little Miss Sunshine" (2006) and everybody gets excited and thinks: "I could have that too."   Continued...

 
<p>Projectionist Roberto Viada sits next to a projector while a movie is being screened during the Festival Internacional de Cine Pobre (low budget films) in Gibara April 19, 2008. REUTERS/Claudia Daut</p>