As if independent film isn’t up against enough already. The indie film world in New York City has taken a battering since the violent arrival of Hurricane Sandy earlier this week, with various Manhattan-based headquarters wading through flooding and power outages at the moment when Oscar season planning should be ramping up. The Tribeca offices for Indiewire/Snagfilms have been without power and shuttered all week with staffers working remotely; they are expected to reopen on Monday, November 5.
Sony Pictures Classics, the Weinstein Company, Oscilloscope Laboratories and Cinetic have all been under disaster duress, and dealing with closed offices for part or all of the past week as the blackout and flooding continues. TWC, for example, has 20 feet of seawater occupying its basement, a situation the company’s I.T. personnel were unprepared for. And email was down for three days, a dire inconvenience for the beginning of awards season. Meanwhile, SPC has regained power, but is still operating a smaller team in New Jersey to accommodate its outer-Burroughs employees.
Repertory theaters are taking hits as well. This writer received a forlorn email message from the excellently-curated NY staple Film Forum, on October 31, saying the Village theatre would be closed until further notice. UPDATE: Film Forum reopened November 3. The Quad and Village IFC Center are also down due to power outages. However, uptown Film Society Lincoln Center, on Manhattan’s less-damaged West Side, was able to make a speedier recovery and reopened Thursday.