There’s a new player in the the game for independent film funding. The New York Times is reporting that DF Indie Studios, based in New York, is open for business. The new studio plans to finance up to 12 films a year with budgets of up to $10 million. Mary E. Dickinson, chief executive, and Charlene Fisher, president, believe that the market is ripe for a revival of independent films with this kind of budget and the new studio guarantees US distribution for films that make it through the rigorous greenlighting process.
This sounds like good news for indie filmmakers but my enthusiasm is tempered by this statement from the NYTimes article: “The two would not discuss the company’s financing and had no film projects to announce. They are still seeking investors.” The venture is clearly still in the early stages, and, I’m cautiously optimistic. Naturally, only time will tell whether this venture can be successful in bringing more independent fare to the market, but I for one, wish them the best of luck.
The film’s creator, Seth Kramer, upon facing resistance from foundations and grants, self-funded a $10,000 expedition to Siberia with scientists David Harrison and Gregory Anderson, to film the first 20% of the film. With a reel to show, they were able to attract an additional $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to finish the film.
The Linguists recently aired on PBS after showing at Sundance last year. A DVD is available directly from Ironbound Films, and the film has been well reviewed by Vanity Fair, the Washington Post, the LA Times and even Noam Chomsky.