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Independent Movies

July 8, 2007 | Dennis Lim, Special to The Times
EACH year the Sundance Film Festival seems to bring increasingly frantic bidding wars among buyers eager to find breakout successes and increasingly dire assertions (usually from critics) that American independent cinema is not what it used to be. Often lost amid the laments, though, is a clear idea of what preceded the go-go years inaugurated by Miramax with Steven Soderbergh's "sex, lies and videotape" in 1989.
June 28, 2007 | Josh Friedman, Times Staff Writer
The money keeps flowing into Hollywood. Independent film executives Mark Gill and Neil Sacker said Wednesday that they raised $200 million to form the Film Department, a production company for modestly budgeted movies. "There's a perfect storm of favorable conditions for our new business," said Gill, former president of Warner Independent Pictures and Miramax Film.
February 25, 2007 | Susan King, Times Staff Writer
"Little Miss Sunshine," the dark comedy about a dysfunctional family, won best feature at the 2007 Film Independent's Spirit Awards on Saturday. "Sunshine," which is nominated for five Academy Awards, including best picture, won three other awards at the beachside event: best director for Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, supporting male actor for veteran Alan Arkin and best first screenplay for Michael Arndt.
February 24, 2007 | Paul Pringle, Times Staff Writer
Glitz hits the Santa Monica sands today when stars like Josh Hartnett, Christina Ricci, Tobey Maguire and Sharon Stone walk the paparazzi-lined red carpet into a giant beach-side tent for Film Independent's Spirit Awards. Billed as the independent film community's biggest party, the 22nd annual gala will be televised on two cable channels, with a third offering a fashion-and-gossip preview.
JOHN SLOSS has been called independent filmmaking's consigliere. He's part lawyer, part salesman, part problem-solver who became an avid film buff watching a movie a day as a projectionist and usher while attending the University of Michigan. Honored films he's been involved with include "Boys Don't Cry," which won Hilary Swank her first acting Academy Award, best documentary Oscar winner "The Fog of War" and current best picture nominee "Little Miss Sunshine."
November 29, 2006 | Susan King, Times Staff Writer
After several years of honoring more mainstream fare, Film Independent's Spirit Awards returned to their indie roots for many of the nominations announced Tuesday in Los Angeles. While one of the best feature nominees -- "Little Miss Sunshine" -- was a breakout hit and likely Oscar contender, the others -- "American Gun," "The Dead Girl," "Half Nelson" and "Pan's Labyrinth" -- had limited distribution or haven't been released.
October 1, 2006 | Sorina Diaconescu, Special to The Times
INDIE filmmaker Andrew Bujalski spent three years trying to bring his 2002 debut picture, "Funny Ha Ha," onto big screens. Low on plot and high on loopy, broken charm, it earned him a 2004 "Someone to Watch" Independent Spirit Award and critical praise when it was finally released in theaters last year.
June 27, 2006 | Robert W. Welkos, Times Staff Writer
It was, in all likelihood, one of the most depressing panel discussions to be held at this year's Los Angeles Film Festival -- or any film festival, for that matter.
May 21, 2006 | Rachel Abramowitz, Times Staff Writer
ON May 1, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu skipped out on the final mix of his film "Babel" to take his family to the immigration rallies in downtown L.A. While his absence might have given heartburn to the production staff hurtling to get the Brad Pitt-Cate Blanchett film ready for the Cannes Film Festival, to Gonzalez Inarritu, it was worth it. "It was like Simon Bolivar's dream -- people from all over Latin America," says the 42-year-old Mexican director. "I didn't feel any rage or any anger.
May 2, 2006 | Lorenza Munoz, Times Staff Writer
Hoping to cash in on the increasing popularity of so-called specialty films, the country's second-largest theater circuit is about to start showcasing independent films in theaters in markets where art house viewers are believed to reside. AMC Theatres will announce today that it has designated 72 theaters as AMC Select venues.
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