There is a belief among people saying movies need to be presented in a certain “typical” way that helps connect with the audience. Nope, that’s not the truth! You can still make a movie and narrate and present it in a better way by thinking “out of the box” and breaking conventions.
Most of the independent films do this job beautifully!
From small-town dramas to gritty documentaries, you’ll see the bare truth of human existence. This is where heroes become vulnerable and endings are unclear. It already sounds interesting, ain’t it? Well, let us dig in more and unmask the indie film and the way stories are told.
1. Open Narratives & Raw Authenticity
This is the territory of independent films. Here narratives go beyond genres you’re used to. The films take you into the deepest parts of the human experience.
A. Breaking the Formula
Indie movies are full of surprises instead of the predictable hero’s journey of blockbusters. A movie like “Memento” challenges the way we think about time, while “Moonlight” explores masculinity through three interconnected stories. These films don’t give us easy answers. Instead, they make us question and connect with them.
B. Real Emotions
Indie films tackle subjects that most of the mainstream movies wouldn’t even think of. For example, let’s talk about “Leave No Trace“. This film focuses on the relationship between a dad and his daughter living without electricity.
Similarly, a film like “American Honey“ shows the short-lived excitement and harsh reality of young hustlers. These films deal with raw emotions like sadness, longing, and vulnerability.
This in turn creates emotional connections with viewers as they see a reflection of themselves on screen.
C. Giving Voice to the Unheard
Indie cinema promotes unheard voices and challenges the stereotypes created by mainstream media. Movies like “Shoplifters” show the dynamics of a family living outside Japanese society.
Films like these give a platform to stories that don’t get much attention in mainstream movies and encourage empathy.
2. Embracing Imperfection & Artistic Freedom
Imagine a black-and-white film shot on grainy 16mm, or a story told in bits and pieces. This is what you can expect from an indie filmmaker. He/she uses the resources in the best possible way and overcomes the limitations.
This is something that you hardly get to see with conventional filmmakers.
A. DIY Mindset & Experimentation
Independent filmmakers rely on improvisation and collaboration. A film like “Primer” was shot with a $7,000 budget. The maker has used clever editing and practical effects to create a time-travel thriller.
Similarly, a movie called “Tangerine” was made using iPhone cameras to capture Los Angeles’ vibrant nightlife. These films show how adaptable and creative independent filmmakers can be.
B. Experimenting with Form and Style
Indie filmmakers experiment with storytelling techniques that have no monetary restrictions. A movie like “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” uses dreamlike visuals and a nonlinear storyline to explore memory and loss.
Films like these challenge our expectations and redefine cinematic storytelling possibilities.
C. Art Comes Before Business
Most indie filmmakers are more concerned about their creative vision than making money. Movies such as “Y Tu Mama Tambien” blend coming-of-age humor with road movie adventure and philosophical thinking.
These films showcase the beauty of true artistic creativity, regardless of its mainstream appeal.
But one thing we must understand is that independent films aren’t limited to Hollywood! You will find lots of independent films in different languages that are available for you to watch. The only thing needed is a small push from our end. That tiny bit of encouragement.
International platforms like BBC iPlayer have lots of hidden gems like these that are just waiting for you to find them. All you need is a streaming device like an Amazon Fire Stick and you are good to go. Accessing BBC iPlayer in the USA is that easy!
3. A Celebration of Individual Voices & Different Perspectives
Imagine a filmmaker from Nepal documenting migrant workers’ struggles, or a transgender director crafting a coming-of-age story in a small town. This is the beauty of indie film. Here different voices and backgrounds come together to show humanity as a whole.
A. Newcomers Finding Platforms
Indies often feature fresh talent, unlike most modern films with star-studded casts. Riz Ahmed’s breakout role in “Nightcrawler,” Hailee Steinfeld’s powerful performance in “True Grit,” and Florence Pugh’s stunning work in “Lady Macbeth” are all testaments to the opportunities indie cinema offers to rising stars.
B. Supporting Minority Perspectives
Indie films give voice to communities that are rarely represented or under-presented in mainstream media. Right from the transgender love story in “A Fantastic Woman” to the portrayal of Black identity in “If Beale Street Could Talk,” there are lots of examples.
These films present real-life stories and challenge conventional narratives. This way, it also promotes cultural understanding and compassion.
C. Global Storytelling Beyond Borders
Indie cinema stretches beyond national boundaries. We get a glimpse into diverse cultures and social realities
In a movie like “Parasite“, you could see the director making an effort to highlight stark differences in social status in South Korea. Films like these remind us that stories don’t have borders, and they encourage us to connect with people all over the world.
4. Building Connections & Community
Indie film isn’t just about solitary viewing; it’s about connecting with people and having fun together. We’re a community that brings filmmakers and audiences together, whether it’s screenings at festivals or online discussion forums.
A. Festival Buzz & Shared Passion
Film festivals like Sundance, Toronto, and Cannes have become meeting points for indie enthusiasts, filmmakers, and critics. There’s a buzzing energy, great conversations, and excitement that makes this place feel special.
B. Breaking Down Barriers & Initiating Conversations
Indie films are more engaging than some of the big-budget mainstream movies. Discussions with filmmakers, and community screenings let you find out more about the stories, critique them critically, and understand them better.
C. Celebrating the Underdogs and Promoting Creativity
When an indie film connects with viewers, it becomes a shared accomplishment. Word-of-mouth buzz, crowdfunding campaigns, and social media support showcase how passionate communities can make a difference. This in turn makes independent creators’ voices heard.
The Bottom Line
It is easier to ignore this part of storytelling. You may always find the mainstream movies to be more attractive than the Independent films.
But think of it this way.
You get a chance to explore something that you might never have thought of. A film that could potentially positively change your life. It’s all in perspective. The way we think about Indie films.
Most importantly, there is someone, that storyteller whose whole life might be dependent on one film. So, why not give him/her a chance to prove?