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State of the Indie: Gloomy Skies and Silverlinings

State of the Indie: Gloomy Skies and Silverlinings

“Sea change. Existential crisis. Transitional moment. These are just some of the terms bandied about to describe the current upheaval in the specialty film sector. While the economic model for independent films is clearly in serious trouble, industry veterans say the death of the global indie marketplace has been greatly exaggerated. Like cockroaches in a media apocalypse, indies may be one of the few sectors of the industry to survive these financially punishing times.” Variety’s Global Independents issue hits web and print today, pegged to Toronto’s launch. Read my opening story — excerpted above — for some food for thought as the annual marketplace kicks off.

Also of interest to iW readers is a story on how media cutbacks and axed critics are affecting indies. An example from the story: In Detroit and Atlanta, for example, where Terry Lawson (long-standing critic for the Detroit Free Press) and Eleanor Ringel Gillespie (a 28-year veteran of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution) were offered buyouts in 2007, the box office numbers are not as big as they once were, according to IFC Films’ head of marketing, Ryan Werner. “They don’t stack up to similar-sized markets.”

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