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New Year's Resolutions: What the Indie-Film Industry Hopes to Achieve in 2013

Indiewire By Indiewire | Indiewire January 1, 2013 at 1:00PM

Resolutions gets a bad name only because the most common ones are typically unattainable outside of a 12-step program or a winning lottery ticket. Just the same, we here at Indiewire are optimistic sorts.
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Resolutions get a bad name only because the most commonly made ones are typically unattainable outside of a 12-step program or a winning lottery ticket. Good luck with keeping a promise made at a time of year marked by unfettered inebriation, rampant self-delusion, torturous family obligations and all-around gluttony.

Just the same, we here at Indiewire are optimistic sorts. So we asked colleagues and cohorts to think a bit about what realistic expectations they have for the New Year -- with focus on business, personal achievement or the indie-film community. The mix of responses is pretty telling, and for every deep thought there's a humorous aside that's no less true for being flip. This, of course, seems perfectly fitting.

READ MORE: The Indie-Film Industry's Top Ten Lists of the Best in 2012 Movies and TV

So have some fun reading through their thoughts and think a little bit on what you want your own 2013 to look like -- with an emphasis on realistic endeavor. And please feel free to share your own goals, both personal and for the wider independent filmmaking community, in the comments beneath.

MICHAEL BARKER, co-president, Sony Pictures Classics

I urge everyone to read “The Big Screen” by David Thomson, a consummate history of the moving image, where we've been and where we're headed. Thomson is an exquisite visual stylist, but with words and attitude. This book is an informative, provocative, contentious, illuminating, interactive experience. One minute you'll be on a high, the next you'll be throwing the book against the wall in disagreement with him or with yourself. I'm ready to take on 2013 with this volume tucked firmly under my arm. Call it a Darwin “Origin of the Species” for the motion-picture business. We are all on a precipice. Our future, like our past, is one scary yet exciting proposition. I know, I know, Happy New Year to you too.

READ MORE: The Indiewire Honor Roll: 31 Interviews With the Most Notable Cinematic Voices of 2012

TOM BERNARD, co-president, Sony Pictures Classics

To try and get the independent film world to embrace a hardline stance on film piracy — especially film festivals and indie organizations like FIND, IFP and Sundance.

I am resolved to have the State of New Jersey adapt A FEATURE FILM TAX REBATE PROGRAM.

CHARLOTTE COOK, director of programming, Hot Docs

The ultimate professional resolutions for me are always trying to find a way for documentaries to be seen by more and more people, for them to considered in all ways as on a par with fiction filmmaking, and for filmmakers to get the financial support they need. 



CARA CUSUMANO, programmer, Tribeca Film Festival

To watch every best picture nominee before the Oscars for the first time.

JEFF DEUTCHMAN, director of acquisitions, IFC Films

Stop reading Oscar prognostication.

NELSON GEORGE, filmmaker, “Brooklyn Boheme”

My resolution is to watch and get involved with more transmedia projects. People are doing some wonderful work in this space and I wanna see more of it.

DADE HAYES, senior VP, Rubenstein Communications, Inc.

I am excited to be transitioning in January from the world of pure PR to independent consulting and writing projects. My resolution is to have a more creative and diversified year ahead.

EUGENE HERNANDEZ, Director of Digital Strategy, Film Societyof LincolnCenter

Continue searching. Keep listening to hear new voices, ideas and approaches.

CHRISTOPHER HORTON, Associate Director, #ArtistServices, Sundance Institute

Watch more movies. Like many peers inside and outside the industry, the past couple of years I've engaged more with television than film. I can easily spend an entire Sunday lying on my couch watching an entire season of a TV series, even one I'm tepid about, yet somehow that often requires less effort than watching a 90-120 minute film. This scares me.

EVAN HUSNEY, producer, Drafthouse Films

Goals for next year are: Get a 2x4 autographed by "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan (something I failed miserably to do in 2012) and play another show and record a new album with Dragon Sound.

DAVID LAUB, Oscilloscope Laboratories

When it comes to films, trust our gut first and foremost. I have found that the best decisions we have made about films have stemmed from our initial gut reactions to them, whereas the worst have been when we have tried to talk ourselves into something we didn't truly believe. I think first instincts are the way to go, and when a film speaks to you right out of the gate, you should listen. 

"I'm hoping that the indie world continues to push the boundaries of what 'indie' means. It's a business term that we've turned into a genre, and I hope we continue to push the boundaries of that genre." - Jared Moshe

DAVID C. MAGDAEL, President/CEO, David Magdael & Associates, Inc.

In 2013, I would like to be able to continue working on amazing films and documentaries that will change the world or at least attempt to make that difference. I am blessed to have a job that I can actually say I "love.” I feel lucky that I wake up every day and look forward to my work. I am not a filmmaker or a writer, but I am the audience. So that makes my job a perfect fit for me, as when I take on a film I want to share that great experience with a writer/critic/journalist/pundit/blogger who can help take it the next step and lift that film or filmmaker up so that many more people will see the film and be lifted too. So, in 2013 I am hoping for continuity and pushing the envelope further. I am excited about those possibilities and am on the search for those projects that will fulfill that.

DYLAN MARCHETTi, president, Variance Films

While Variance has always been a filmmaker-centric company, this year our plan is to bring independent theater owners into the mix more. Without a healthy, vibrant indie theater industry, filmmakers are going to find it increasingly hard to build that audience that appreciates and loves going to the movies and seeing something different. We’re all in it together, and this year we want to do our part to broaden the conversation to make things easier at a difficult time.

JARED MOSHE, writer-director, “Dead Man’s Burden”

In 2013, I hope to continue the re-creation of my career as a writer/director, improving my skills as storyteller and creating opportunities to stretch into developing new types of projects. At the same time, I'm hoping that the indie world continues to push the boundaries of what "indie" means. It's a business term that we've turned into a genre, and I hope we continue to push the boundaries of that genre.

BRIAN NEWMAN, founder/consultant, Sub-genre Media

To skip any Sundance party with more than three people waiting to get inside.

JENNI OLSON, VP marketing and e-commerce, Wolfe Video

My dual top priorities for 2013 include completing my new 16mm experimental landscape feature “The Royal Road” and achieving global dominance for our new WolfeOnDemand.com LGBT movie-watching platform that I’m proud to have launched at Wolfe this past June.

RICHARD J. SHEEHAN, VP & Sr. Relationship Manager, HSBC Bank USA, Entertainment & Media Group

My resolution/immediate goal for 2013 is to finish the rewrite on my screenplay and get it out into the world to see what happens!

GENNA TERRANOVA, director of programming, Tribeca Film Festival

Career: To watch TV (still have not seen "Homeland") and to read more, especially more than 140 characters at a time. Personal: To do other things that don't require screens.

BASIL TSIOKOS, programming associate, documentary features, Sundance Film Festival

I restricted my top ten list to documentaries -- though I would certainly list "Amour" if I did include fiction -- chiefly because I haven't watched most of this year's most acclaimed fiction films. So my resolution for 2013 is that by this time next year, I'll have seen enough of the big fiction features to consider them for a list like that.

LUCY WALKER, filmmaker, “Waste Land”

2013 will see me focusing on a fiction film I'm writing and directing for Film 4 about Simone de Beauvoir's love triangle with Nelson Algren and Jean-Paul Sartre during the period when she was writing “The Second Sex.” It's such a wild world to be immersed in. I feel lovely every single moment of working on it.