fall collage movie preview

Summer is essentially over. Maybe not by the calendar, but certainly when it comes to Hollywood. The "Grown Up 2"s and "The Hangover Part III"s have come and gone, and for anyone who likes a mediocre $200 million-budgeted film aimed at teenaged boys, you're out of luck for at least a few months. (Editor's note: Yay.)

Not to say this summer didn't give cinema-goers plenty of nice alternatives, from rare summer studio fare that pleased audiences and some critics ("The Conjuring," "Star Trek Into Darkness," "Iron Man 3") to a good dozen excellent arthouse films ("Fruitvale Station," "Blue Jasmine," "Before Midnight," and "Frances Ha," to name a few). But fall is a whole other monster. And more often than not, it's a monster that's a good friend to any cinephile.

The final months of 2012's specialty release schedule should easily fulfill the needs of any film lover. There's works from auteurs both international and domestic, a considerable documentary presence, many biopics and the annual plethora of Oscar-bait. And Indiewire has decided to offer the following list of 30 notable titles to watch for.

It's more than likely said list would find a few notable additions if the Venice and Toronto dust had already settled. Scores of films about to premiere there remain free. A number of them could find themselves in theaters by year's end, but for now no films without release dates or distributors are included in this list.

Of note: Indiewire's list veers away from studio efforts that very well could be high on one's fall to-see list. Defining what is and is not a "specialty film" is murky at best so we are simply sticking to including any film released from a independent distrubutor or an indie division of a studio.  But this rule remains problematic on numerous occasions. Many "studio films" specifically that would have surely been on and perhaps even near the top of this list include Spike Lee's "Oldboy," Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity," George Clooney's "Monument's Men," Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," Jason Reitman's "Labor Day," Spike Jonze's "Her," Martin Scorsese's "The Wolf of Wall Street," Paul Greengrass's "Captain Phillips," Ridley Scott's "The Counselor" and David O. Russell's "American Hustle."

Those films can all be found on our release calendar, listing the releases by date and giving each its own page complete with a ton of information (cast, distributor, synopsis, trailer, etc.).

But before treading through those listings, consider the following 30 films first. From Steve McQueen to Nicole Holofcener to Princess Grace, Princess Diana and Nelson Mandela, a fall indie preview -- in alphabetical order and with trailers galore -- begins on the next page.  -Peter Knegt