Edge

Sneak peak for almost free films

Each year, as the temperature drops across the country, film studios work tirelessly to put their prestige pictures in the best position to draw award nominations and make money off the attention these films receive. Each year, also around this time, I begin to receive red envelopes from Netflix for free. The films that are sent are nominees for the Independent Spirit Awards, and as a member of Film Independent, I receive a ballot and cast my vote.

The Independent Spirit Awards has been around for 20 years. It is a signature program of Film Independent, a non-profit organization that strives to provide resources for independent filmmakers. According to their website, “6,300 members have access to discounted equipment, editing suites, casting rooms, a valuable resource library, over 120 free screenings and 150 educational events every year.”

In addition to the awards, Film Independent also produces the Los Angeles Film Festival, which draws over 100,000 attendees per year. Past festival films include: “Little Miss Sunshine,” “The Devil Wears Prada,” “An Inconvenient Truth” and “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

This is my second year voting in the Spirit Awards. Last year’s ballot included “Brokeback Mountain,” “Capote,” “Crash” and “Hustle & Flow.” Once the nominees are announced around the first of January, members get a code and use their membership number to get a free subscription to Netflix. All the nominees are available on DVD, though many are not commercially released or released in American theatres. For example, one of the films nominated this year, an Oscar-nominated German film named “The Lives of Others” was available in January on Netflix but was not released in the US until Feb. 9.

Film Independent is a great way to link aspiring filmmakers to the film community for a low membership fee. The awards are also a great outlet for independent films which are not propped up by massive marketing campaigns or are unable to open on 3,000 screens. Aside from “The Lives of Others” (which is one of the best films of the year), the standout nominees include “Old Joy,” “The Dead Girl” and “A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints.” Three other wonderful films that received nominations but I had already seen were “Little Miss Sunshine,” “Half Nelson” and “Pan’s Labyrinth.”

Anyone who loves film should take a look at Film Independent. Even if they find that not all the benefits fit their needs, they may still discover a few gems hidden under the glut of mainstream cinema.

For more information, go to http://www.filmindependent.org/.

Gabe Habash can be contacted at s.habash1@umiami.edu.

February 23, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

University of Miami linebacker Jamie Gordinier has had another unfortunate setback, effectively side ...

The calmest coach on the planet got mad Friday after football practice. University of Miami coach Ma ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.