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
  • HurricaneSports

University of Miami coach Mark Richt apparently is a fan of President Teddy Roosevelt’s — or at leas ...

If there was one freshman the Miami Hurricanes knew would have to help entering the season, Brevin J ...

Not only has Gerald Willis been one of the best stories of the Miami Hurricanes’ season, he has also ...

The Miami Hurricanes started the season No. 8 nationally in both major polls. Now, they’re nowhere t ...

With a bye week on the horizon, the meager University of Miami offense has nearly two weeks to attem ...

More than 600 students participate in the National Gandhi Day of Service, the largest annual service ...

Home Truth, the story of Jessica Lenahan’s pursuit of more effective domestic violence laws, screene ...

Members of the UM community who want to donate to relief efforts for those impacted by Hurricanes Mi ...

The University of Miami’s Model UN is working to expand its membership and reputation with its first ...

During a keynote address at a conference in Los Angeles, entrepreneurial heavyweight Magic Leap anno ...

The Miami Hurricanes volleyball team improved to 10-5, 6-2 in the ACC, with a 3-0 sweep of Boston Co ...

The Miami women's tennis team closed the Bedford Cup with a perfect day, winning each match in ...

"In The Pool" is a series highlighting the University of Miami swimming & diving stude ...

Playing in front of a boisterous home crowd, the University of Miami soccer team earned a, 1-1, draw ...

The Hurricanes fell in their ACC road opener to the Virginia Cavaliers. ...

TMH Twitter
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 in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.