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The 7 Indie Films You Must See This March

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire March 1, 2013 at 9:57AM

After the first two months of 2013 offered in large part an opportunity to catch up on the best of the 2012, this year's specialty market is finally rolling with some of the most anticipated films from recent film festival circuits.

4. Gimme The Loot (March 22)

Director: Adam Leon
Cast: Tashiana Washington, Ty Hickson, Meeko, Zoe Lescaze, Sam Soghor
Distributor: IFC
Current Criticwire average: B- (see all grades)

Why Is It a "Must See"? A year after leading the juried awards at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival, Adam Leon's "Gimme The Loot" hits theaters via IFC. Leon's first feature, it follows a group of young New York graffiti artists, including standouts Tashiana Washington and Ty Hickson as Sofia and Malcom. "Following Sofia and Malcolm through a series of misadventures set to powerful soul music," Eric Kohn wrote at SXSW, "'Gimme the Loot' meanders aplenty but finds two reliable anchors in its leads. Washington infuses Sophia with a feistiness that keeps all the crude libido of a male-dominated world at bay; physically charged in a way rarely seen among female screen performances even today, she's a genuine discovery."

Watch the trailer below:

5. War Witch (March 1)

Director: Kim Nguyen
Cast: Rachel Mwanza, Alain Bastien, Serge Kanyinda, Ralph Prosper, Mizinga Mwinga
Distributor: Tribeca Film
Current Criticwire average: B+ (see all grades)

Why Is It a "Must See"? Alright, so there's still one Oscar nominee left to hit theaters: Canadian foreign language entry "War Witch," which comes to theaters a week after losing that Oscar to "Amour" and 13 months after nabbing the best actress prize at the Berlin International Film Festival. The Quebec-produced film is set during a civil war in sub-saharan Africa, where a 12 year old girl named Komona (newcomer Rachel Mwanza, who won the aforementioned prize as well as the best actress prize at Tribeca) is abducted by rebel forces to become a child soldier. It's a powerful film that was more than worthy of its Oscar nomination.

Watch the trailer below:

6. Beyond The Hills (March 8)

Director: Cristian Mungiu
Cast: Cristina Flutur, Catalina Harabagiu, Cosmina Stratan
Distributor: IFC
Current Criticwire average: B+ (see all grades)

Why Is It a "Must See"? Another foreign language festival alum with a best actress prize on its plate, Cristian Mungiu's "Beyond The Hills" debuted at last year's Cannes Film Festival and won a joint prize for actresses Cristina Flutur and Cosmina Stratan (beating out eventual Oscar nominee Emmanuelle Riva, no less). Inspired by Tatiana Niculescu Bran's novels, the film stars Flutur and Stratan as two young women at an Orthodox convent in Romania. Said Eric Kohn in his Cannes review: "Individual moments testify to the qualities that make contemporary Romanian cinema so incredibly involving -- the use of a slow-burn, real-time approach that draws you into the small details of a story and then pulls out to absorb the big picture."

Watch the trailer below:

7. Room 237 (March 29)

Director: Rodney Ascher
Distributor: IFC Midnight
Current Criticwire average: B+ (see all grades)

Why Is It a "Must See"? Another Cannes alum (though it debuted in Sundance before heading there), Rodney Ascher's documentary "Room 237" got loads of attention from cinephiles over its year on the festival circuit. The film examines Stanley Kubrick's "The Shining," dividing itself into nine segments, each focusing on different elements within the film which "may reveal hidden clues and hint at a bigger thematic oeuvre." It uses footage from "The Shining" and other Kubrick films (as well as discussions with Kubrick enthusiasts) and is in general a huge gift for Kubrick fans and cinema lovers. "The takeaway isn't just that 'The Shining' is a rich text, but that its richness is a paragon of the magically subjective experience that all great cinema provides," Eric Kohn wrote in his Indiewire review.

Watch the trailer below:

This article is related to: Spring Breakers, The Place Beyond the Pines, Stoker

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