Indie films are worth the watch

Victoria Wilczak, Photography & Media Editor

Film junkie or not, there is bound to be a film on anything you wish in the vast world of cinema. As many people are finding themselves with more free-time than they had hoped for, discovering new films and sharing your ratings of them has been a common thread over social media.  Although movie theaters across the United States have been temporarily closed due to COVID-19, many people have found themselves diving into and discovering the beauty behind independent cinema.

Independent movies are produced outside of major film studios and are usually feature or short films while mainstream movies are just how they sound, films that are produced for the mass public created in Hollywood and shown in movie theaters. What makes an independent or “indie” film unique from the mainstream is the way they portray their stories. Indie films focus more on the artistic value of the movie-making process, and are not focused on making profit. What these films accomplish is the way that they are able to reach their audience and create stories that can relate to a viewer on a more intimate and personal level as producers are able to freely express their passions into their art.

Indie films have been around since the early 1900s, but have not gotten the recognition they deserve until the last few decades. These movies have shaped cinematic history in a way no mainstream film company could. 

The 1990s was a turning point in the independent film world with releases such as Daniel Myrick’s The Blair Witch Project, and Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. These movies are staples in most film buff’s repertoire and will continue to be classics in many years to come as the raw and emotional storytelling of these movies stand the test of time. 

New York-based  film company A24 has done and continues to do an incredible job at reflecting what exactly an indie film represents. A24 film, Mid90s, will continue to be a favorite cinematic piece of mine as it tells the unrestrained story of a 13-year-old boy trying to navigate his life. With such a seemingly simple storyline, director Jonah Hill delves into his psyche and creates an emotional story based on his childhood, with no censor and need to meet the demands of mainstream media. 

Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight portrays the life of a young black man in Miami and his journey into adulthood, which is told in such delicacy and grit that it leaves a sense of self-discovery within the watcher. The film had received an Academy Award for Best Motion Picture in 2017 which had been a huge accomplishment for the independent film industry.

No matter if you are a movie buff or not, independent films have no doubt shaped the movie industry into what it is today and will continue to tell the stories the mainstream media is afraid to do.