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In post-Weinstein Hollywood, indie film studios are the new movie stars


Hollywood will never be the same - that is to say, we hope it won’t.

The accusations against Hollywood elites, ranging from harassment to sexual abuse, have lifted the thin veil on an industry-wide epidemic that’s long plagued TV and film. Whatever happens next, it will undoubtedly be for the better.

The "post-Harvey Weinstein" era of film will see a lot of changes, likely lead by the rumored code of conduct being crafted by LucasFilm president and industry veteran Kathleen Kennedy.

But for now, when entertainment news seems like a constant stream of falling stars, the thought of championing celebrities as they walk down the Academy Awards red carpet seems like a tricky proposition.

So who do we look to as the rock stars and artists leading the industry? The independent movie studio.

What company makes what is probably the last thing you’ve paid attention to, despite it being the first thing to appear on-screen during a movie.

But these small film production companies and distributors are disrupting the industry with some of the most thought provoking and unforgettable films to grace the silver screen.

It's only fitting that after the downfall of the man who practically invented awards campaigning with his indie studio Miramax, we should look to the studios themselves and the movies they've created this season.


This New York based distributor has already received a best picture win last year with "Moonlight," and is hoping to score another win with one of its two big Oscar hopefuls:

"Lady Bird"
If you want to apologize to your mother, just go see this together.

"The Florida Project"
From the director that made a movie good enough to get into Sundance using an iPhone.

Not to mention A24 brought us 2015's "Room," which won Brie Larson the Best Actress Oscar and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay, but they also made one of my favorite films of the last decade, "Ex Machina" (2014), which won the Oscar for visual effects.


As far the indies go, this is a heavy-hitter. This is another studio with two major films in contention, both from famous auteurs.

"Phantom Thread"
The studio is a long-time producing partner with director Paul Thomas Anderson, and backed the six-time Oscar nominee once again for his latest venture with the legendary Daniel Day-Lewis. See this if you even remotely appreciate movies.

I don't know how many more movies we can take of trying to rescue Matt Damon from somewhere, so it's nice to see him truly stuck for once. If you've been left at the altar, or thought shrinking yourself down to five-inches tall would be a good solution to your problems, then this is for you.

Some other nominated films out of Annapurna have been "Zero Dark Thirty," "American Hustle," "Her," and "Foxcatcher." They know movies.

This is one you've probably heard before, and they're prolific in their pursuit of movies in general, but the last few years have seen Lionsgate present some amazing films, including 2013's "12 Years A Slave," which won Best Picture. This year the race might not be in the bag, but they have a couple films that we'll at least see at the Golden Globes.

"The Big Sick" (shared with Amazon Studios)
The ultimate "meet cute," only it involves a coma. Don't see this with your Tinder date, but do see it.

You're going to cry.

Definitely worth noting that Lionsgate is responsible for the "Saw" franchise, which I put in the pros column, and if you have a problem with horror films, talk to me after you read the next section.

Oh, and did I mention they also gave us "La La Land?" You can't put Lionsgate in a box.


If their logo looks like they make horror films, it's because they do. They REALLY do. This is producer Jason Blum's company, who brought us "Paranormal Activity," "Insidious," and "The Purge." If you hadn't noticed, we're living in a golden age of horror movies, and Blum, a producer, is a master of the genre.

So you can imagine that it came well out of left field when both a horror producer and Jordan Peele, a comedian, would create one of the most social-conscious, easy-bet nominees ever with "Get Out."

"Get Out"
See this with your significant other. Don't see it with your significant other's parents. Actually never mind, just watch it with a friend.

Important to note this isn't Blumhouse's first trip down the red carpet. In 2014 the indie drama "Whiplash" won three Oscars for Supporting Actor, Film Editing, and Sound Mixing, with a nomination for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Amazon Studios
It's no secret that streaming services are going for gold. They've had their fingers in TV for a long time, and now Netflix, Apple, and Amazon Studios are hitting the festival circuit looking for movies. This year Amazon is hoping to turn some heads with not one, but two movies with "wonder" in the title.

See this if you have issues with your father.

"Wonder Wheel"
See this if the issues with your father are unrelated to Woody Allen.

Last year Amazon Studios scooped up "Manchester By The Sea," bringing Casey Affleck a best actor Oscar, as well as one for Best Original Screenplay.

This one is sort of the new kid on the block. This fresh distributor grabbed one of the most talked-about movies of the year and Hollywood has taken notice.

"I, Tonya"
This is a black comedy of sorts about the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan scandal of the mid-nineties, which was a black comedy in and of itself.

Keep an eye on movies with a big "NEON" in front of it in the years to come.

The best looks from the Oscars in 2017
Oscars 2017 Slideshow
Check it out

Check out more movie news on Circa.com:
Here's every movie you need to see before awards season
Could this comedy win an Oscar?
The Avengers: Infinity War trailer became the most viewed trailer of all time

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