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As Society Continues To Battle The Ongoing Economic Waves In Celebration Of The Independents A Breed Apart

The American Film Market Home of the The Independents - AFM 2014 Official Poster
International Independents are the cornerstone and multicultural creative core of our global society in all sectors - but most influentially in the moving image, the 21st Century art form and visual communicator.

The Independents constitute one single binding common bond, a passion for film and filmmaking, as a source of entertainment, edutainment and enlightenment of our multicultural society

The word "independent" broadly defined: 1. not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself. 2. not subject to another's authority or jurisdiction; autonomous; free. 3. not influenced by the thought or action of others.

The Independents' Five Step Of The Proverbial Two Step
In the international film and television business across the strata of the levels of independent companies, those qualities define the individual men and women at the helm of their companies from the one man band to the bands of many.

For the international gatherings such as AFM, Cannes Berlin and the other key markets, The Independent takes on a different cloak when showcased by the different international institutions that work with for and around this group of individuals.

The Independents become a collective commodity to be marshaled together as a whole - seemingly a reflection of the sameness within our society that perpetuates and promotes sameness - not originality which is the key to success. Occasionally these institutions are unable to blend this 'collective' into an obedient mass of sameness.

What occurs? 'The collective' rebels and the 'institution' systems begins to fall apart. However, with fiscal might and intent of purpose which keeps the institutions fundamentally intact, the institutions regroup – but through the necessity for themselves.

The Independents, having demonstrated that they cannot be so blatantly corralled for their fiscal power without consequence, are now catered to on a different platform.

The Independents are often undermined for their collective creativity - unless they maintain the status quo of sameness. However, under the umbrella of the structures of AFM, Cannes & Berlin, they nonetheless continue to thrive in/on yet another incubator/platform.

The institutions believing the new structure to be of their making, embark on a new model which continues to preserve its modus operandi, not fully comprehending - because it has no 'individual core' – that it is the will and 'freedom' of the independent, and their need not to be shackled within a collective mass that has created the new incubator/platform – and the Two Step begins again.

TBOF's printed Edition at AFM 2014, and also available Online, is in conversation with three different strata of the creative individuals, companies, and institutions that make up the Independents, across three continents.

The Independent - Independent - a One on One Conversation with Independent director and producer Philippe Mora marked a pinnacle of his career as an independent filmmaker when in September (2014) the Oldenburg International Film Festival celebrated Mora with an Honorary Retrospective and the German Independence Honorary Award. In an extended profile, The Business of Film joins in celebrating this extraordinary Renaissance man and auteur.

The New Generation Takes The Helm At Arrow Films (UK) Alex Agran is the second generation Managing Director of British-based Arrow Entertainment. The company's award-winning label Arrow Films has grown the audience for its titles by aggressively utilizing social media and the advantages for rapid communication offered by the internet. Alex discusses the changing dynamics of UK distribution from the viewpoint of Arrow Films within the strata of independent distribution – One-on-One in conversation with The Business of Film.

The Young Turks Taking South African Independents Onto The International Front Supported by the South African Government under the aegis of The National Film & Video Foundation since 1997, filmmakers from the country, both black and white, attended Cannes Film Festival in the effort to promote South Africa, already known for its rich location and incentives, but more importantly for the world to see a different face of South Africa and gain exposure and grow its talented filmmakers. Seventeen years on, there is no doubt South Africa and its filmmakers have made an impact on the world stage. In concert with many countries around the world, governments have seen the economic benefit and impact of location incentives in their countries. However, in the case of South Africa, the investment at the Cannes Film Festival towards the visibility of its filmmakers and the promotion of the county, in a very short space of time has paid off. In 17 short years that promotion and exposure has also dissipated the ugliness of Apartheid (1948 to 1994). Association for Transformation in Film and Television (ATFT) was founded in 2013. Its mission - "To empower, develop and inspire black individuals, as well as black-owned companies, and grow the South African Film, Television, Animation and Transmedia Industries." Elspeth Tavares is in conversation with Pascal Schmitz, Co-Founder, together with Mayenzeke Baza of the ATFT.

Three different perspectives, three perceptions, three continents that together make up the spectrum of independents across the globe.

Since 1980, The Business of Film has been proud to champion the independents and have written exclusively about the sector and focused on their dreams, aspirations, and their creative wealth and contribution to the international film and television business.

Over the years, TBOF has steadfastly weaved an independent path where it has, with the support of a great many of these individuals, maintained its own independent status.

Elspeth Tavares and the team at TBOF: Betsy Pearson, Margaret Mairs, Clairence Jaguar, Allen Booth, and the interns whom TBOF supports through its Media Training Scheme thank those independents as TBOF celebrates its 34th year.


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