Now, I know Wayne Wang isn't in most cinephiles' good graces these days.* He's spent most of the decade making bland and unremarkable middle-brow flicks like Maid in Manhattan, Because of Winn-Dixie and Last Holiday. But the director behind The Joy Luck Club and Chinese Box still has a fair bit of cachet, and when he does something like make his new film available in its entirety online and for free, people pay attention.

So, pay attention: Wang's The Princess of Nebraska, an indie he premiered at last year's Toronto International Film Festival (where it got a positive review from Cinematical's Kim Voynar), will be offered for free on the internet in September. The filmmaker partnered with ex-SXSW chief Matt Dentler and his Cinetic Rights Management to make this happen, as a means of releasing Princess simultaneously with its companion film, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers, which will come to theaters courtesy of Magnolia Pictures. The exact plans of the release (i.e. where, how) haven't been announced, but I'll keep an eye on it. Take a look at this IndieWire story for more.

Not, probably, the start of a new Hollywood trend, given that The Princess of Nebraska -- a no-budget drama about a pregnant Chinese teenager's struggles in the United States -- probably wouldn't have done much business anyhow. But if Dentler and his colleagues can figure out a way to get people to watch the thing, who knows. Indie filmmakers could always use a new channel.

*The exception is our own Eric D. Snider, who informs me: "I love Wang films!"