Salon looks at the year in independent film.
But does the term have any meaning anymore?
Mini-majors like Picturehouse, Focus Features (owned by NBC Universal), Fox Searchlight, Sony Pictures Classics and Warner Independent are where most of the genuine energy and excitement in Hollywood is found these days. These companies operate without interference from studio overlords, for the most part, and they're run by people who know and love movies. They also obviously benefit from the deep pockets and business clout of their corporate parents, and they have resources that smaller, free-standing distributors like First Run (or Zeitgeist or New Yorker or Palm Pictures or THINKFilm or a dozen smaller companies I could name) can only dream about. Mauceri argues that the mini-majors and their films, including "Little Miss Sunshine" and "An Inconvenient Truth," should be viewed, at least in business terms, as "a side strategy of the Hollywood conglomerates. Those companies are able to take out half-page, full-color ads in the New York Times," he goes on. "That's not an independent film. That's not the business I work in. You might as well say that 'Flags of Our Fathers' and 'Apocalypto' are independent films."