Burnt by Netflix? Full up on Amazon Prime Video? Want a present that does not require wrapping? We have 9 sure-fire winners to select up proper now.
With streaming dominating the trade — and immediately changing into the “new regular” in a altering world — IndieWire is taking a more in-depth take a look at the information cycle, breaking down what actually issues to offer a transparent image of what firms are successful the streaming wars, and the way they’re pulling forward.
By tendencies and the most recent developments, Streaming Wars Report: Indie Version affords a snapshot of what’s taking place general and day-to-day in streaming for the indie set. Take a look at the most recent Streaming Wars Report for updates to the larger gamers within the trade.
The pleasures of 2020 have been restricted, a theme that can doubtless carry over to a muted vacation season not practically as resplendent with the standard festive bounty. So many months into the pandemic, even essentially the most ardent of movie followers and tv fanatics have doubtless lengthy since burnt by their ordinary favorites and all the brand new “content material” that they had in any other case saved for a wet day. What else is there to probably watch? And what else is there to purchase?
In brief: A lot! Over the previous few months, we’ve navigated our method by the ever-changing waters of the streaming expertise, and for all of the zippy headlines about beloved auteurs slapping down fledgling companies they detest and the spectacular flameouts of multi-million-dollar enterprises with main star energy, there are nonetheless many unbiased streaming companies rife with glorious movies and sequence to observe proper now. Even higher, they make impressed items for the hard-to-shop-for watcher in your life, no journey to the shop or reward wrapping required.
Listed here are 9 of our favorites, from common curiosity streamers to extra specialised websites, all prepared for buy and gifting proper now.
The Criterion Channel
The Criterion Channel has lengthy been the gold customary of the indie streamers, and has solely saved up its stellar work throughout these many pandemic months, frequently rolling out contemporary content material with peerless supplemental supplies. It needs to be the primary cease for anybody seeking to break away from the chains of its heavy-hitting contenders on the company aspect. The annual price of $99.99 would possibly sound hefty, however it’s a assured winner for anybody seeking to deal with the cinephile of their life.
One other indie stalwart, MUBI launched a freshened up streaming arm earlier this yr, rolling out its starry library in early Could. Consider it as a cinephile dream warehouse, crammed with tons of unbiased and traditional motion pictures, black-and-white favorites way back to 1922’s “Nosferatu,” and more moderen fare like “Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda,” Luca Guadagnino’s lavish quick movie “The Staggering Lady,” starring Julianne Moore, plus “Bruce Lee and the Outlaw,” and way more.
The distributor additionally makes use of its streaming aspect to launch a few of its latest pick-ups, usually rolling out thrilling new pageant hits for premium on-line consumption (developing quickly: Kirill Mikhanovsky’s pageant favourite “Give Me Liberty”). You possibly can reward three months of the service for $29.99 or a full yr for $79.99.
IFC Movies Limitless
Launched simply final yr, IFC’s streaming model hosts hits from all three of IFC’s distribution labels — IFC Movies, Sundance Selects, and style label IFC Midnight — and is offered by each Apple and Amazon Prime. The deep library affords a curated vary of IFC titles, together with pageant hits like “Boyhood,” “The Babadook,” and even the complete run of Michael Winterbottom’s “The Journey” sequence.
Modern event-based packages, like a latest feminine director-centric assortment and watch events, assist showcase lots of the library’s highlights. Subscribing is straightforward, and clocks in at simply $5.99 a month (deal with somebody, or simply your self).
Very similar to IFC, indie distributor Magnolia Footage is frequently including to its personal burgeoning streaming service, forging new partnerships with each bodily theaters and different streaming shops. The streamer is packed to the gills with a few of Magnolia’s most beloved movies (a peek at its present “in style picks” reveals a wealth of decisions, from “Melancholia” to “To the Surprise” and “Compliance”). If you happen to’re lacking the movie pageant expertise nowadays, Magnolia Selects will simply recreate it within the security of your individual dwelling.
The streaming-VOD service collates a whole lot of movies from Magnolia’s library that aren’t on different SVOD platforms, making them obtainable to audiences for $4.99 month, which grants customers entry to the complete retinue of Magnolia’s many area of interest picks, together with genre-focused Magnet and a wealth of documentary decisions.
Horror hounds doubtless already know all about Shudder, which affords up horror movies, thrillers, and suspense-filled options. However the web site’s rising reserve of authentic content material, together with movies picked up off the pageant circuit and contemporary options from rising stars, has turned it into vital for movie followers of all stripes. It’s not only a place to take a look at beloved classics, however to seek out the subsequent large factor (or, a minimum of, the subsequent authentic diversion).
The gore-happy service is offered to stream on a variety of gadgets and websites, together with Apple, GooglePlay, Amazon Hearth, Roku, and Xbox. New members can you may stream Shudder limitless for simply $5.99 per 30 days, or save with a yearly membership for $56.99 (solely $4.75 a month).
Launched again in 2017, BritBox, owned by British networks BBC Studios and ITV, affords the form of comforting, made-for-snuggling, deeply Anglophile content material that’s arduous to seek out in such a wondrously curated kind. IndieWire has already known as BritBox the Hulu different for all issues that come from the UK, and its spectacular slate solely continues to develop.
Working example: Earlier this yr, the service acquired the rights to a number of new Agatha Christie movies, TV exhibits, and audio performs. How’s that for realizing (and serving your viewers)? If somebody you like has already consumed a decidedly American weight loss program of leisure, maybe it’s time to take them throughout the pond for extra choices. For now, the service is providing a particular vacation deal: Twelve months for the worth of ten (simply $69.99).
Created by former journalist DeShuna Spencer, kweliTV goals to have fun the excellence of world Black tradition and neighborhood by a strong choice of award-winning unbiased movies, sequence, documentaries, youngsters’s programming, and extra. The service at present homes over 400 indie movies (98 % of which have been programmed at numerous movie festivals) and tv exhibits, with over 35,000 registered customers, a powerful base that has, per the corporate, doubled since April 2020.
okayweliTV is offered on Amazon Hearth, Roku, AppleTV, GooglePlay, iOS, Chromecast, and Cox. Subscriptions can be found by each month-to-month ($5.99) and annual commitments ($49.99), and particular person titles can be found to hire for simply $2.99 every.
Earlier this yr, we appeared extra deeply on the burgeoning world of unbiased documentary-focused streamers, and located a bounty of stable contenders. Amongst them (many free and providing a la carte picks, too), there are a variety of subscriptions price an annual purchase for the fact-obsessed in your life.
In April, worldwide streaming service DAFilms launched within the Americas, full with a 2,000-film catalogue of pageant and documentary movies. The platform is among the essential initiatives of DocAlliance, a inventive partnership between seven of the key European documentary festivals, together with CPH:DOX, Doclisboa, Millennium Docs In opposition to Gravity FF, DOK Leipzig, FIDMarseille,IDFF, and Visions du Réel.
DAFilms makes choices from these festivals’ lineups accessible in American properties for a at present diminished fee of simply $35.88 per yr (single-screening leases are additionally obtainable for movies). Sections embrace Highlight On, Movie of the Week, Featured Filmmaker, and Nation in Focus, and up to date title highlights embrace Agnes Varda’s “Mural Murals,” Petra Costa’s “Undertow Eyes,” and Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Parave’s “Leviathan.”
, although not primarily targeted on documentary and nonfiction, launched final yr with an assortment of hard-to-find options, together with documentaries from Chantal Akerman, Michael Apted, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Patricio Guzman, Heddy Honigmann, Chris Marker, Ross McElwee, Invoice Morrison, Raoul Peck, Jean Rouch, Wang Bing, and Travis Wilkerson.
The streaming service, created by a collective of unbiased distributors (Bullfrog Movies, Distrib Movies US, First Run Options, Grasshopper Movie, Icarus Movies, and KimStim), continues to offer a wealth of nonfiction options for its subscribers — an inventory of newly added docs is filled with gems — and is nicely price its month-to-month price of $6.99 (or $69.99 for the yr).
Preserve streaming, and keep secure on the market.
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