Half Nelson came and went through theatres quietly. If it weren't for living three blocks away from an independent movie house I would have never noticed it myself. Ryan Fleck's independent was filmmaking gold -- truly great filmmaking. The story is about a schoolteacher, young and inspiring who lives a double life as a crack addict once he leaves campus at night. Why did more than half the world not see, let alone not hear, about this film? Independent budgets simply do not have the kind of funding necessary to publicize their films.

It's sad but true. Most incredible independent features are never heard of before they hit DVD; where many have the chance at a more uplifting financial turn around. So, if the production doesn't have the money to publicize, if there aren't big names that will naturally draw people to the film (i.e. Babel, Notes on a Scandal or Venus) what do they do to get people to see their films? Miraculously a huge part of drawing an audience to Indies is word of mouth. I'm a firm believer that if the work is good that it will be seen. The work will be recognized, sooner or later, all based onon interested parties viewing the film.

IndieWire interviewed president of Picturehouse Bob Berney about generating success on independent projects. In his interview, Berney said something worth quoting again and again. "If films are good, audiences can expand almost without a ceiling." He's absolutely right and what a great picture to create, a film rising against absolutely no barriers. That film can and will trump any blockbuster film if it is -- good. Berney stated to IndieWire that good reviews also contribute to the success of indie films. Word of mouth, to me, is far more powerful. It's reviews that I often times let go in one ear and out the other -- I don't like people making decisions for me.

Independent films have generally had a good run in 2006. With awards season and a little patience, the Indies of 2006 may do even better ... we just have to keep talking about them.