When we think of films we often think of the latest blockbuster and stars like Matt Damon or Leonardo DiCaprio. These are studio films made by large companies as 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., and Paramount. These films are multi million dollar ventures with large marketing budgets (several millions) and with famed and well known actors. These studios are not only selling to a broad American audience but also to world audiences. They cater to a very large demographic of theatre going audiences around the world, predominantly young and male.
What does this mean for the quality and type of stories being told in these studio films? They are formulae stories - themes and topics that have proven to be a success in the past. A typical studio film will have a likeable hero character who will meet an obstacle in his path, will have to overcome this problem, make friends and enemies along the way and eventually achieve success.
Independent films on the other hand are films made by an individual or company outside of the studio system. They are often made on very small budgets, often with actors who are not famous yet. Independent films don't have hugh marketing budgets and often rely on film festivals to get the word out. Its evident that the path of the independent filmmaker is fraught with difficulty, and little chance of success especially in the face of big studio films that take up all the limelight.
So why do people make independent films? Its a passion pursuit. Something about a story makes it so compelling that the indie filmmaker cannot resist embarking on a several year long effort to make a film about it. Or the storyteller is just in love with the camera and the idea of capturing a story. So in effect it is this reality that makes for interesting films. If the artist has decided to struggle so much to tell a story with no promise of financial success, there must be something about the film that is worth watching, right? And that is why often the greatest films lie somewhere in the pile of indie films/documentaries waiting to make there appearance in front of audiences.
Farheen Umar is a