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by Nigel M Smith
August 1, 2012 9:15 AM
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The Top 11 Indies to Watch on VOD This August

New to VOD: "Beloved," "Bachelorette," "Why Stop Now," "Sleepwalk With Me" and "The Ambassador"

Indiewire has weeded through the films hitting VOD this hot summer month to bring you a curated list of the 11 most worth your time. You'll find everything from the latest controversial documentary from the Dane behind "The Red Chapel" to a Gallic musical starring some of France's biggest stars, a zombie splatterfest set at a wedding and a road-trip drama headlined by Sherlock Homles himself, Benedict Cumberbatch.

Here are the 11 films to watch on VOD this August, in alphabetical order. Click on the film's title for its individual film page.

"Ajami" (August 7)

Nominated for a 2009 Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar, "Ajami" is a powerful crime drama set on the mean streets of Jaffa's Ajami neighborhood — a melting pot of cultures and conflicting views among Jews, Muslims and Christians. The lives of two brothers fearing assassination; a young refugee working illegally to cover his mother's medical expenses; and a cop obsessed with finding his missing brother all intersect in this sprawling ensemble drama. "For all of its stories, characters, and perspectives, 'Ajami' is essentially a sustained gaze into a widening, all-encompassing trap," wrote Eric Hynes in his review of the film for Indiewire. "Life is cheap, death is random, and no one is safe."

Where to Find: XBOX

"The Ambassador" (August 4)

You can always count on Danish journalist/filmmaker Mads Brügger to stir the pot. In the award-winning documentary that put him on the map, "The Red Chapel," Brügger headed to North Korea with two Danish-Korean comedians under the guise of a cultural exchange to show what life is really like for the country's citizens. With his follow-up "The Ambassador," which played at the Sundance Film Festival in January, he makes his way to the Central African Republic posing as a Liberian consul to show what happens when a very white European man buys his way into being a diplomat in one of Central Africa's most failed nations.

Where to Find: Dish, DirecTV, Comcast, Cox, Brighthouse, Charter, Time Warner, ATT, Verizon

"The Babymakers" (August 3)

From the director of the much-beloved state trooper comedy "Super Troopers," Jay Chandrasekhar, comes his latest, "The Babymakers." Though nowhere near as wild as his breakout feature, "Babymakers" still makes for a rowdy time thanks to an outlandish plot that centers on a couple (Paul Schneider and Olivia Munn) who, after struggling to get pregnant, decide that the best course of action is to repossess his previous sperm deposit. What a great idea! The film also stars Constance Zimmer, comedian Kevin Heffernan and "The Talk" host Aisha Tyler.

Where to Find: Movies On Demand, iTunes, Playstation, XBOX, Amazon, Vudu, Google Play, Blockbuster Online, Charter, Cox, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Verizon Fios, Cablevision, Directv



  • Catherine | August 8, 2012 10:16 AMReply

    Third Star is a beautiful and moving film that will stay with you for a long time. The chemistry of the four main actors is phenomenal, and the incidental characters (including performances by Karl Johnson and Hugh Bonneville) are quirky and highly entertaining. I dare you not to laugh out loud AND cry during the course of this film. Bonus: It's Benedict Cumberbatch. That alone would be reason to watch this film, but it truly is a finely crafted piece of cinema.

  • Don Quichote | August 8, 2012 8:23 AMReply explains why THE AMBASSADOR is not a documentary nor a mockumentary, and reveals the inconvenient truth behind the story about what was left out.

  • Bruce Spencer | August 1, 2012 6:29 PMReply


    An award-winning documentary by Jenny Abel and Jeff Hockett

    In 2005, after winning First Grand Prize at the Slamdance Film Festival, and four years later in 2009, a similar honor at the Fargo Film Festival, “Abel Raises Cain,” a comedy feature, has defied the laws of Hollywood’s jungle. Its “legs” remain unstoppable.

    During 2011, “Abel Raises Cain” completed a four-thousand mile tour of southern colleges and museums in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. Audiences of all ages were mesmerized, reacting with sustained laughter and standing ovations.

    At South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, SC, the sold out screening had to be held in their spacious planetarium and projected on the ceiling. It was somewhat eerie to observe a full house of patrons laughing and applauding, while lounging on the horizontal easy chairs designed for overhead viewing.

    In New Orleans, to accommodate an overflow crowd, “Abel Raises Cain” was also projected on the side of a three-story building next door. Even traffic halted to view the movie. At its conclusion, horns honked and a marching band appeared, playing “The Saints,” adding to the excitement of cheers, shouts and applause. What a tribute for filmmakers Jenny Abel and Jeff Hockett!

    After each screening, Jenny took the stage to field questions from the elated audiences. They all registered their surprise and delight at this first view of the young filmmaker who deftly handled queries. When asked where her father was, that was his cue to appear from backstage for standing ovations and applause. Alan Abel was a secret guest and he joined his daughter for more banter with audiences.

    During its past and present screenings, “Abel Raises Cain” has won major awards at film festivals in Canada, England, Denmark, Germany and France. Copies of the DVD, with a commentary and extra features, are available from its website:

    Alan Abel will be featured off-Broadway in 2012 with “Jester At Large,” along with fellow pranksters Paul Hiatt and Frank Murgalo. Details are to be announced soon on his website:

    # # # #

  • Michael Hawley | August 1, 2012 4:33 PMReply

    Another vote here for The Ambassador (and thanks for adding a "Where to find" listing to this regular VOD column).

  • Nigel M. Smith | August 1, 2012 4:47 PM

    Sure thing! And sorry for not adding that info sooner. -- Nigel

  • Salty Bill | August 1, 2012 3:38 PMReply

    The Ambassador is hilarious, and most entertaining. Saw this at Sundance 2012.

  • MoviesAreNice | August 1, 2012 1:28 PMReply

    Wonder if the "Third Star" team likes posting comments here.

  • Rosie | August 2, 2012 2:59 PM

    It's the fans, son. We travel in packs. And it is a phenomenal film.

  • Minuialeth | August 1, 2012 12:50 PMReply

    "Third Star" is the kind of movie that stays with you long after you've watched it. It's not your usual tear jerker, despite the fact that it features a young man dying of a cancer. It's a reflexion on how we lead our lives, sometimes deluding ourselves into thinking that we're living them at their fullest, on how we can lie to ourselves and lose what we are along the way. A lot of the dialogue and situations hit very close to home. The cast is stellar, with a special mention for Benedict Cumberbatch and JJ Field. And the Welsh landscapes are just beautiful.

  • june | August 1, 2012 11:45 AMReply

    SO excited to have finally have a VOD for Third Star. It's the kind of film that curls up in your subconscious and stays there. The gorgeously filmed landscape of Wales will forever make "Barafundle Bay" seem like a magical incantation of some kind. Bring your tissues--but revel in the incredibly endearing friendship of James, Miles, Bill and Davy.

  • Sil | August 1, 2012 11:44 AMReply

    Third Star is *the* one film to watch, just perfect!

  • Katie | August 1, 2012 11:42 AMReply

    Third Star is phenomenal! Best film I've seen in years! Watch it. Love it.