Both Amazon and Netflix are stepping up their indie film game, and I have to say I couldn't be anymore excited. Blockbusters can be entertaining and all, but there's nothing like a powerful, raw, and edgy indie film that really cuts to the core.
Manchester by the Sea
Most recently, Amazon payed $10 million for Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the Sea.
Love and Friendship
Love and Friendship is a film by Whit Stillman who had previously collaborated with Amazon on the pilot. This film stars the talented actresses Kate Beckinsale and Chloë Sevigny.
Netflix has just picked up Tallulah for $5 million, directed by Orange Is the New Black's Sian Heder starring Ellen Page, Allison Janney, and Zachary Quinto.
The Fundamentals of Caring
A movie called the The Fundamentals of Caring with cast Selena Gomez and Paul Rudd was also picked up by Netflix.
In the past, Netflix held Cary Fukunaga's Beasts of No Nation starring Idris Elba and Abraham Atta while Amazon released Spike Lee's Chi-Raq back in December.
Be sure to check out Chi-Raq's trailer below:
Both films received incredible reviews, meaning that we might see more indie films coming from the likes of the Sundance Film Festival and onto the big streaming platforms.
More Filmmakers Are Jumping On the Bandwagon
It appears as though directors like Woody Allen, who were first opposed to the streaming platforms, are actually beginning to open up to them. Allen is pairing up with Miley Cyrus and will star in a TV series set to premiere on Amazon.
Spike Lee seems to think that streaming films will still produce a very successful result, especially since Amazon and Netflix have a lot of creative freedom. Lee says:
“I think studios are threatened. That’s a good thing. I also think there’s enough room for everybody out here. As a filmmaker, artist, the more places there are established that you [can] have your work seen, the better it is.”
It's starting to get difficult to ignore the impact indie films and streaming services are having on the film industry. Perhaps we might get to a point where traditional Hollywood and streaming platforms can work together.
While it might be shocking to note that Beasts of No Nation and Chi-Raq didn't succeed in getting any Oscar attention, even though Netflix has earned several Oscar noms in the past with documentaries The Square in 2013, Virunga in 2014, and What Happened, Miss Simone? and Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom set for this year.
Saba Hamedy at Mashable states:
“The popular streaming platforms have spent years paying their dues—making the rounds at all the major film festivals, courting top-tier talent and generating buzz with unique originals."
Let's keep the creativity flowing and the ability to feature smaller, yet equally as superb, indie films that deserve the attention and wide-spread acclaim that Blockbusters achieve.
[Source: The Daily Dot]