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Independent Filmmaking and Digital Convergence by Vladan Nikolic

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1Introduction: Independents vs. the Mainstream

The traditional definition of independent film by Roger Ebert is that it is a film made outside of the studio system, with independent financing, which remains true to the director’s vision. So, you have three areas: financing, production and artistry. There have been a lot of cycles within independent film, what it meant throughout the last couple of decades, until 2001, when the bubble collapsed.

—Anthony Kaufman, film writer, teacher and festival programmer1

In 2012, the young filmmaker Benh Zeitlin made his first feature film, Beasts of the Southern Wild. The screenplay was adapted by Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar from Alibar’s one-act play Juicy and Delicious. Made in the style of magical realism, ...

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