By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Digital Debut for 13 Independent Films via Sundance Institute’s Artist Services

For Immediate Release
January 15, 2013


Detropia, The Atomic States of America, I Am Not A Hipster and more available now

GoWatchIt.com Enables Discovery of Sundance Film Festival and Artist Services Titles Year Round

Los Angeles, CA — Sundance Institute today announced that 13 independent films are now available through a variety of platforms to rent, download or stream via the Institute’s Artist Services program.  Titles include 2012 Sundance Film Festival films Detropia, I Am Not a Hipster, The Atomic States of America, and We’re Not Broke. For full details on where to access these films, please visit sundance.org/nowplaying. (The complete list of new titles available follows below.)

“With the proliferation of new digital outlets these days, Sundance Institute saw a real need to help filmmakers and producers easily access these platforms and to provide  information on how best to navigate and take advantage of independent distribution,” said Keri Putnam, Executive Director, Sundance Institute. “ It’s exciting to see these filmmakers charting their own path towards finding audiences.”

In addition, to making it easier for audiences to find Sundance Institute and Film Festival films all year long, this year’s online film guide and mobile app for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival includes a new feature from GoWatchIt.com which creates a universal ‘queue’ so fans can be notified as soon as films they are interested in become available in the marketplace. Sundance Institute has also installed GoWatchIt on the Now Playing page (www.sundance.org/nowplaying) for the titles accessing distribution through its Artist Services.

Look for the Artist Services films on iTunesAmazon Instant VideoHuluMicrosoft XboxNetflixSnagFilmsSony Entertainment NetworkSundanceNOWVUDU and YouTube. Special bonus video content from the Institute’s archives is available for select titles. The Artist Services program provides Institute artists with exclusive opportunities for creative self-distribution, marketing and financing solutions for their work. New Video, a Cinedigm company, is the exclusive aggregation partner for distribution across all portals in the program. The Artist Services initiative is made possible by The Bertha Foundation. These deals were brokered via pro bono legal services generously provided by law firm O’Melveny & Myers, which has built the legal framework for the Artist Services program and participating filmmakers since its inception.


The American Astronaut (Director and Screenwriter: Cory McAbee) — Sundance Institute Screenwriter’s Lab Fellow Cory McAbee stars in his sci-fi feature film as an interplanetary trader. The film also stars 2012 Independent Spirit Award nominee James Ransone (Starlet, HBO’s Treme and The Wire) as Bodysuit. (2001 Sundance Film Festival)
The Atomic States of America (Directors: Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce) — Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce’s provocative documentary takes viewers on a journey to nuclear reactor communities across the country. (2012 Sundance Film Festival)

Budrus (Director: Julia Bachas) — Documentary filmmaker Julia Bacha’s award-winning 2009 documentary follows a Palestinian community organizer who unites local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save the village of Budrus from destruction by Israel’s Separation Barrier. Budrus was produced by Just Vision, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing the power and  legitimacy of Palestinians and Israelis working nonviolently to end the occupation and  resolve the conflict. (2009 Sundance Documentary Film Grant)

Detropia (Directors: Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady) — Winner of the Best Documentary Editing Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and nominated for Gotham and Cinema Eye awards, Detropia chronicles the lives of several Detroiters trying to survive and make sense of what is happening to their city – once an industrial utopia, now on the brink of bankruptcy.  (2012 Sundance Documentary Film Grant, 2012 Sundance Film Festival)

High School Record (Director and Screenwriter: Ben Wolfinsohn) — In Ben Wolfinsohn’s semi-improvised 2005 “mock doc,” four exceptionally awkward 17-year-olds struggle through their senior year as moments of humiliation and triumph are caught on tape in a documentary shot by fellow classmates at a performing arts high school. (2005 Sundance Film Festival)

I Am Not A Hipster (Director and Screenwriter: Destin Daniel Cretton) — Featuring music by indie electronic band, Canines, and a break-out performance by Dominic Bogart (Flash Forward), Cretton’s music-focused drama premiered at sold-out screenings at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. (2011 and 2012 Cinereach Project at Sundance Institute Grant, 2012 Sundance Film Festival)

Primer (Director and Screenwriter: Shane Carruth) — Shane Carruth’s cult classic won the Grand Jury Prize and Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Timed to the premiere of the director’s much-anticipated follow-up film,Upstream Color, at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. (2004 Sundance Film Festival)

Pursuit of Loneliness (Director and Screenwriter: Laurence Thrush) — Award-winning director Laurence Thrush’s (Left Handed) 2012 Sundance Film Festival premiere stars a cast of non-professional actors depicted in their own workplace roles. (2012 Sundance Film Festival)

The Slaughter Rule (Directors: Alex Smith and Andrew Smith) — David Morse (Treme) and Ryan Gosling (Drive) star in Alex and Andrew Smith’s feature writing-directorial debut about a fatherless high-school quarterback. Nominated for the Independent Spirit Awards’ John Cassavetes Award.. (2002 Sundance Film Festival)

Stingray Sam (Director and screenwriter: Cory McAbee) — Cory McAbee’s 2009 follow up to The American Astronaut features writer-director McAbee as Stingray Sam and “Crugie” as The Quasar Kid, two space convicts in a series of episodic adventures narrated by David Hyde Pierce (Frasier). (2009 Sundance Film Festival)

to.get.her (Director and screenwriter: Erica Dunton) — Five teenage girls with a shared secret get together for a weekend of “no consequences” in this 2011 Sundance Film Festival premiere that won the Best of NEXT <=> Audience Award. Actress-model Jazzy De Lisser stars in a “mystery” written and directed by Erica Dunton (The 27 Club). (2011 Sundance Film Festival)

Wave Twisters (Directors: Eric Henry and Syd Garon) — Animators Syd Garon (Superheroes, Last Call at the Oasis) and Eric Henry’s “turntablism-based musical” won the 2001 Midnight Films Audience Award at the 2001 SXSW Film Festival. Scripted to a recording by “scratch” artist DJ Qbert, Wave Twisters follows a group of heroes traveling through inner-space on a quest to save the lost art of Hip Hop. (2001 Sundance Film Festival)

We’re Not Broke (Directors: Karin Hayes and Victoria Bruce) — A timely exposé on how the government has allowed U.S. corporations to avoid paying taxes, and the growing wave of discontent that is has fostered. A 2012 Sundance Film Festival premiere from the filmmakers of The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt. (2012 Sundance Film Festival)



Sundance Institute

Sundance Institute is a global nonprofit organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981. Through its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, composers and playwrights, the Institute seeks to discover and support independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to inform, inspire, and unite diverse populations around the globe. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Son of Babylon, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, I Am My Own Wife, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America.

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“We now have a situation where audiences very often prefer commercial trash to Bergman’s Persona or Bresson’s L’Argent. Professionals find themselves shrugging, and predicting that serious, significant works will have no success with the general public. What is the explanation? Decline of taste or impoverishment of repertoire? Neither and both. It is simply that cinema now exists, and is evolving, under new conditions. That total, enthralling impression which once overwhelmed the audiences of the 1930s was explained by the universal delight of those who were witnessing and rejoicing over the birth of a new art form, which furthermore had recently acquired sound. By the very fact of its existence this new art, which displayed a new kind of wholeness, a new kind of image, and revealed hitherto unexplored areas of reality, could not but astound its audiences and turn them into passionate enthusiasts.

Less than twenty years now separate us from the twenty-first century. In the course of its existence, through its peaks and troughs, cinema has travelled a long and tortuous path. The relationship that has grown up between artistic films and the commercial cinema is not an easy one, and the gulf between the two becomes wider every day. Nonetheless, films are being made all the time that are undoubtedly landmarks in the history of cinema. Audiences have become more discerning in their attitude to films. Cinema as such long ago ceased to amaze them as a new and original phenomenon; and at the same time it is expected to answer a far wider range of individual needs. Audiences have developed their likes and dislikes. That means that the filmmaker in turn has an audience that is constant, his own circle. Divergence of taste on the part of audiences can be extreme, and this is in no way regrettable or alarming; the fact that people have their own aesthetic criteria indicates a growth of self-awareness.

Directors are going deeper into the areas which concern them. There are faithful audiences and favorite directors, so that there is no question of thinking in terms of unqualified success with the public—that is, if one is talking about cinema not as commercial entertainment but as art. Indeed, mass popularity suggests what is known as mass culture, and not art.”
~ Andrei Tarkovsky, “Sculpting In Time”

“People seem to be watching [fewer] movies, which I think is a mistake on people’s parts, and they seem to be making more of them, which I think is okay. Some of these movies are very good. When you look at the quality of Sundance movies right now, they are a lot better than they were when I was a kid. I do think that there have been improvements artistically, but it’s tough. We’ve got a system that’s built for less movies in terms of how many curatorial standard-bearers we have in the states. It’s time for us to expand our ideas of where we find our great films in America, but that said, it’s a real hustle. I’m so happy that Factory 25 exists. If it didn’t exist, there would be so many movies that wouldn’t ever get distributed because Matt Grady is the only person who has seen the commercial potential in them. He’s preserving a very special moment in independent film history that the commercial system is not going to be preserving. He’s figuring out how to make enough money on it to save these films and get them onto people’s shelves.”
~ Homemakers‘ Colin Healey On Indie Distribution