Running into its 87th year and returning to its customary location of the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood; the Oscars is host to a prestigious night assembling the biggest designer names along with some of the industries finest film talent. Also back for another year is the familiar face, and rising star of previous years, “the Indie”.
…independent films over the years have benefited from the Oscar campaign as it is possibly the only time of year when the “Indie” prospers.
Throughout the film calendar independent features are most well received by audiences at the start of the New Year, pre-awards season. It is a time when the big summer blockbusters have passed their sell by date and studios start producing the intelligent material that audiences refuse to tamper with during the ease of the summer sun, when they prefer a much easier watch, like the third instalment of a Walt Disney Picture. For such reasons independent films over the years have benefited from the Oscar campaign as it is possibly the only time of year when the “Indie” prospers.
Previous winners of the Best Picture award include Hurt Locker, Slumdog Millionaire and No Country for Old Men. Evidently the “Indie” has thrived at the Oscars, continually building a strong rapport with the institution and wiping off the big blockbusters from its competition. The voters, consisting of 6,000 members ranging from actors to cinematographers, generally appear to acknowledge the competition based on content rather than their box office intake.
Surely much less emphasis should be placed on luring household names and televising the event, and more spotlight be given to the actual art of independent film.
While the support for independent filmmaking from the Oscars is a sign of great news for the independent industry, there is also the shadowing doubt of celebrity status within such features that tarnishes the accolade. All of the three films mentioned above owe themselves to three famous directors.
Danny Boyle, director of Slumdog Millionaire, returns with another contender for Best Picture this year with the biographical adventure, 127 hours. Surely much less emphasis should be placed on luring household names and televising the event, and more spotlight be given to the actual art of independent film.
Wherever you stand on the current climate of independent film in the Oscars today, there is no doubt that over the years the ceremony has proven to present their accolades to worthy titles with often clever and thoughtful narratives.