The champion of independent cinema who made several forays into mainstream Hollywood died from brain cancer on Feb 27. He was 49.

Winick established the collective InDigEnt in 1999 with John Sloss and IFC’s production arm. The low budget initiative inspired by Denmark’s Dogme95 movement created a slate of around 20 titles including Winick’s Tadpole.

The coming-of-age film premiered at Sundance 2002 and Miramax promptly snapped up worldwide rights for around $5m – an extraordinary sum by today’s frugal standards, especially for a low budget digital production.

Winick went on to direct more commercial fare such as 13 Going On 30, Letters To Juliet (pictured), Charlotte’s Web and Bride Wars.

It is understood he had been suffering from brain cancer for some time, although the aggressive return and rapid spread of the disease caught everyone by surprise. A private funeral service is being planned.