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Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Nigel M Smith
August 1, 2012 9:15 AM
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The Top 11 Indies to Watch on VOD This August

"[REC] 3: Genesis" (August 3)

This third entry in the popular "[REC]" found-footage horror series mixes things up by injecting a good dose of humor into the scares and doing away with the handheld aesthetic altogether once the plot gets going. And unlike the first two, "Genesis" takes place at a wedding, and not in the infected apartment complex where the first two entries are set. The plot barely begs a description, but suffice it to say, a couple's happy day is put to the test when guests start exhibiting zombie-like symptoms. You know what happens next.

Where to Find: iTunes, Amazon, Charter, Comcast, Google Play, DirecTV, Playstation, SuddenLink, Time Warner, Verizon FIOS, Vudu, XBOX

"Sleepwalk With Me" (August 31)

A breakout hit at Sundance, where it nabbed the Best of Next audience award, "Sleepwalk With Me," written, directed and starring comic Mike Birbiglia, is the semi-autobiographical story of a struggling comedian at a crossroads and the growing prominence of his sleeping subconcious. As his family unites for his sister's wedding, Mike's anxieties take on the form of vivid dreams. The growing intensity of Mike's sleeping life carries destructive real-life implications for his relationship with his longterm girlfriend, played by Lauren Ambrose of "Six Feet Under" fame. Supporting Birbiglia and Ambrose are Carol Kane ("Taxi"), James Rebhorn ("Meet the Parents"), Cristin Milioti ("30 Rock"), and a slew of prominent comics.

Where to Find: Bright House, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, Insight, Time Warner

"Street Fight" (August 28)

A year after earning his second Oscar nomination, for his searing documentary "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front," Marshal Curry's debut (which netted him his first nomination) "Street Fight" finally finds its way to VOD via SnagFilms (Indiewire's parent company). The film chronicles the hard-fought campaign for mayor of Newark, New Jersey, by Corey Booker, a young community activist who attempted to unseat longtime mayor Sharpe James. Despite being seven years old, "Street Fight" remains relevant by exposing many of the issues plaguing minority communities in Newark and the harsh tactics used in politics.

Where to Find: iTunes, Amazon, XBOX, Vudu, Google Play



  • 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.