American Independent

Ballast

Ballast

Director: Lance Hammer
Year: 2008

The winner of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival's Dramatic Directing Award and Excellence in Cinematography Award, Ballast is a stunning and evocative story of personal catastrophe and communal redemption set in the Mississippi Delta. Writer-director Lance Hammer and his gifted cast of local, non-professional actors have created an unflinching, profoundly humane story of lost souls forced by circumstance to seek solace in the most unlikely of places.

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Ganja & Hess

Ganja & Hess

Director: Bill Gunn
Year: 1973

Flirting with the conventions of blaxploitation and horror, Bill Gunn’s revolutionary independent film Ganja & Hess is a highly stylized and utterly original treatise on sex, religion, and African American identity.

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David Holzman's Diary

David Holzman's Diary

Director: Jim McBride
Year: 1967

This landmark 1967 faux-documentary finds recently dumped David Holzman (L. M. Kit Carson) unloading comic-neurotic monologues straight to the camera. Filmed like cinema verite, it’s a well-disguised fiction about the deceptions of cinematic illusionism and the lies we tell ourselves in order to live. New York Times Critics Pick.

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Liberty Kid

Liberty Kid

Director: Ilya Chaiken
Year: 2008

LIBERTY KID captures with compassion and street-smart humor the spirit and pain of America transformed by 9-11. Two young friends struggle to survive after losing their jobs at the Statue of Liberty tourist site due to 9/11. Director Ulya Chaiken "makes us feel for her characters" (NY Post), and evokes simple and memorable human truths about life on society's margins.

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Littlerock

Littlerock

Director: Mike Ott
Year: 2010

A powerfully intimate drama that captures the fears and desires of a young Japanese woman lost in America, LITTLEROCK is an affectingly authentic portrait of the bittersweet pain of young love and the cruel reality of cultural miscommunication, making it one of the most emotionally moving American Independents in recent memory.

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Loren Cass

Loren Cass

Director: Chris Fuller
Year: 2009

Chris Fuller's explosive debut centers around three teenagers trying to make sense of the brutal (and real-life) shooting of Tyron Lewis, a black motorist gunned down by a white policeman - as well as the widespread urban rioting that followed the killing.

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Los Bastardos

Los Bastardos

Director: Amat Escalante
Year: 2008

Award winning film about two undocumented Mexican day-laborers in L.A. Each day they stand on the corner at the home improvement store seeking employment. Today, the job they are given is well paid compared to their poor usual wages. Today, one of them carries a shotgun inside his backpack.

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Momma's Man

Momma's Man

Director: Azazel Jacobs
Year: 2008

One of the most acclaimed films of this year's Sundance Film Festival, Azazel Jacobs' third feature is both a tribute to his parents (and to the lost New York of his childhood) and an acutely perceptive, deeply personal take on a universal experience: the fear of growing up.

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American Mystic

American Mystic

Director: Alex Mar
Year: 2010

Alex Mar's lyrical first work is a bold and artful documentary that braids together the stories of three young Americans who have chosen to sacrifice comforts in order to embrace the fringes of alternative religion.

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Bear Nation

Bear Nation

Director: Malcolm Ingram
Year: 2011

In BEAR NATION, filmmaker Malcolm Ingram (Small Town Gay Bar), takes you on a fascinating journey inside a fast growing segment of the gay community where what was once a perceived negative is now redefining the definition of what it looks like to be gay.

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