Indie Roundup is your guide to what's new and upcoming in the independent film world. Pictured above, clockwise from top: Oliver Stone and Hugo Chavez, Monsters, The Taqwacores.
Fest Scene. The Cannes film festival has announced its opener: Ridley Scott's Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe (not pictured above, because we want to reserve that spot for actual indie films). That should make for a great red-carpet event, with the prospect of Crowe glowering politely at photographers. And it will serve its purpose: to draw attention to a slate of independent films not featuring household names. More information on the announcement at indieWIRE; predictions on what might play can be found, among other places, at IonCinema.
Deals. SXSW is not a market/festival, like Cannes, but it has, however, showcased or premiered a good number of films that have gone on to gain distribution. In the case of Gareth Edwards' Monsters, which had its world premiere at the fest, the showcase has resulted in an immediate deal, with Magnet picking up rights. Peter Hall reviewed it for SciFi Squad: "It's not about blowing your mind with action, it's about creating an all-encompassing universe in which this subtle and soft story can exist." Monsters is a unique film and deserves a unique marketing angle.
Muslim punk scene feature The Taqwacores debuted at Sundance and is now set for distribution this fall via Strand Releasing, says indieWIRE. The deal was announced just as SXSW was getting under way -- and noted by our own Christopher Campbell -- but I wanted to repeat it. First, because I love typing "Taqwacores," and second, because you can never have too many films set in
On first thought, filmmaker Oliver Stone and Hugo Chavez make for an odd pairing, but they've both railed against U.S. government policy on certain topics and are certainly both firebrands. Stone made a documentary, South of the Border, that revolves around Chavez and other South American leaders, and indieWIRE reports that Cinema Libre Studio has acquired distribution rights. The doc will be released in 10 major U.S. cities, starting with New York on June 25.
The picture above shows Stone and Chavez working the red carpet last fall. Now if only Russell Crowe could have been there, too, that might have really been a scene!
(* CORRECTED 3/27: Thanks to commenter Noel Murray for the kind correction.)