Tag Archives: Tom Bernard

John Sayles and the Indie Film Movement

Independent film began the day motion pictures were invented. In fact all films were independent until a Mr. Edison decided he was going to scoop up all the patents and try to control the fledgling business. And throughout the history of film, there were always outsiders, creating work that was of no interest to the industrialized machine. Some of that work was categorized as “art,” but most if it fell under the category of “specialized.” The term “independent,” as such was used sparingly and mostly in conjunction with particular companies or personalities.

The term “American Independent,” which connoted the sense of a “movement,” came into common usage in the late 1970s with the formation of the IFP (at the time it stood for Independent Feature Project), and crystallized with the release of John Sayles’ “Return of the Secaucus Seven,” which was released in 1980 by Ben Barenholtz’s Libra Films. If John Cassavetes was the Godfather of independent film, John Sayles was its poster child.  (more…)

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IFP Panel: The State of Distribution

In September of 2008, I moderated a panel discussion about the current state of “indie” distribution. On the panel were Tom Bernard of Sony Classics and filmmaker Lance Weiler. It was a pretty lively debate, and an interesting contrast between the traditional distribution methodology and the new DIY model. Here it is– in its entirety– courtesy of IFP.

 

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