New festival explores US independent cinema movements

Essential Independents Crazy about Tiffany'sPalace Cinemas has announced the launch of a new festival on Australia’s screen landscape designed to showcase the past, present and future of independent cinema from the US – Essential Independents: American Cinema, Now.

From Penelope Spheeris to Kelly Reichardt; from Woody Allen to Alex Ross Perry; from Martin Scorsese to Paul Thomas Anderson; from Sofia Coppola to Lynn Shelton, and from John Cassavetes to Richard Linklater, the American independent film community continues to flourish and produce people, ideas, and cinema with a profound impact on the craft internationally.

Artistically directed by one of Australia’s most respected film curators, Richard Sowada, Essential Independents: American Cinema, Now will showcase new narrative feature, feature documentary, and short works; retrospectives on crafts-people from behind and in front of the camera; guests from key US-based international film festivals; independent filmmaker guests; talks and master classes; and special event screenings.

“US independent cinema has produced some of the most iconic films across the decades,” says Artistic Director Richard Sowada. “Far from being bogged down by the studio parallel universe, American independent cinema has constantly responded to changing moods, politics and technology and continues to create some of the most urgent, vibrant and influential cinema today.”

Designed as an annual event Essential Independents: American Cinema, Now will provide audiences with not just a snapshot of current creative directions in the US, but will explore their great traditions and impact on international cinema movements. Highlights include: Time Out of MindMapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures; Sixty Six; YosemiteJane Got a Gun; Crazy About Tiffany’sThe Virgin Suicidesand Stranger than Paradise – just to name a few…

“We’re delighted to be developing this program for national audiences and look forward to breaking some new voices in Australia and perhaps internationally” says Benjamin Zeccola, Palace Cinemas’ CEO. “It’s exciting and distinctive cinema and with the critical voices emerging from the US right now, we feel the program will not only be entertaining but throw a new perspective on what we know of contemporary American cinema.”

Essential Independents: American Cinema, Now runs until 7 June 2016, and takes place on Palace Cinemas’ screens in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra. For more information, and complete program, visit: for details.

Image: Crazy About Tiffany’s