With the thirtieth anniversary for the release of Steven Soderbergh’s sex, lies, and videotape (1989) come upon us, the time is now to revisit the filmmaker’s feature-length narrative debut as well as its place in cinematic history, according to The Independent. It was the first independent film to succeed as much as it did, winning the Palme d’Or for a twenty-seven-year-old Soderbergh, the youngest director to do so, and grossing a hundred million worldwide on a million-dollar budget. Not only that, but it also laid the foundation for Soderbergh’s career, with his eclectic genres ranging from mainstream to arthouse sensibilities.
The Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film published findings this month which indicate that out of nine hundred seventy independent films, women’s representation among writers and executive producers increased six percent this year, according to Ms. Unfortunately, only thirty-two percent of the writers, executive producers, producers, editors, directors, and cinematographers surveyed are women, and male-directed independent movies are screened twice as often at film festivals as those directed by women. Furthermore, Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan, and Gloria Steinem’s Women’s Media Center says just three percent of science fiction and superhero pictures released this decade were directed by women; however, the path to change is clear, as “Indie Women: Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women in Independent Film” outlines that seventy-two percent of writers behind female-directed films in 2019 are women.
Insiders say the United Kingdom could lose its independent film industry in the war between American streaming services like Netflix, Disney, and other competing studios launching their own subscription platforms, according to The Guardian. Indeed, Netflix is opening a permanent production base in Shepperton Studios worth more than ten billion pounds, compared to the eleven million-pound budget at BBC Films and the British Film Institute’s fifteen million pounds. Andy Paterson, co-producer of Jonathan Teplitzky’s The Railway Man (2013), predicts that the streamers will act as something of a new classical Hollywood studio system, conquering world cinema from the United States.
AMC Theatres is launching a new programming-marketing strategy called “AMC Artisan Films” to draw attention to more character- and narrative-focused features as opposed to blockbusters, according to Variety. Elizabeth Frank, the company’s executive vice president of worldwide programming, says not only is AMC known in the industry for distributing blockbusters, they also carry more artist-driven titles than any North American competitor. In an effort to boost the success of these lesser-known movies, AMC Artisan Films is seeking earlier runs from platform releases, as well as playing them longer in the theater in the hope that there will be enough time for positive word-of-mouth to reach audiences.