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An indie icon

November 30, 2003

In Scott Timberg's excellent article on the genesis of the indie film scene ["Rebels Inside the Gates," Nov. 16], he, as have many others before, ignored the valuable contributions of Samuel Goldwyn Jr.

I worked at the Samuel Goldwyn Co. in the mid-'80s, and it was a company that fostered indie talent that is still flourishing and working today -- Spike Lee ("She's Gotta Have It"); Gary Oldman in his first two starring roles, "Sid & Nancy" and "Prick Up Your Ears"; Robert Townsend and Keenen Ivory Wayans directing and starring in "Hollywood Shuffle." And let us not forget that it was the Goldwyn Co. that had the foreign rights to "sex, lies, and videotape." As with that breakthrough film, and so many others that Samuel Goldwyn brought into existence, foreign presales gave many of these films the money needed to go into production, and those foreign deals made the world aware of the vibrant indie scene before Sundance had registered internationally.

Samuel Goldwyn Jr. is still an indie today, an example that proves that you don't have to sell out to keep in the game.

Bonnie Voland

Los Angeles

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Bonnie Voland is president of B. Voland International, a film publicity, marketing and sales company.

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