Independent Digital Entertainment (InDigEnt), New York's answer to Denmark's Dogme95 movement, has completed its first four star-laden digital video features, comprised of Campbell Scott's Final, Ethan Hawke's Last Word on Paradise, Bruce Wagner's Women in Film and Richard Linklater's Tape, and has now started on its fifth, Rodrigo Garcia's Women Remember Men.
Jointly created by director Gary Winick (The Tic Code), entertainment lawyer John Sloss and IFC Productions, the InDigEnt collective was inspired by both the Danish no-frills-filmmaking manifesto and by one of the original pioneers of cinema verite-style low-budget cinema, the late John Cassavetes.
Under the InDigEnt scheme, established screenwriters, directors and actors agree to work within a framework of budgetary and technical limitations. In exchange, the entire filmmaking team - everyone from the director and actors down to the grips - share 50% of all revenue generated from the first dollar, creating the truest partnership yet in filmmaking.
Sloss is currently in advanced negotiations with theatrical distributors on the initial slate. While it is anticipated that a number of InDigEnt films may receive festival or theatrical exposure, in time they will be collected as a series to premiere on the Independent Film Channel, which is seen on a full-time basis in 35m US homes.
The first five InDigEnt productions break down as follows:
Directed by Campbell Scott, the actor who co-directed Big Night with Stanley Tucci, this is a psychological game of cat-and-mouse in which a paranoid Denis Leary wakes up in a spartan hospital room and believes he is being prepared for his "final injection" by the government of 2399. His doctor, played by Hope Davis, tries to reassure him and get at the root of his madness. The producer is Mary Francis Budig.
Directed by Ethan Hawke, and based on Nicole Burdette's play Chelsea Wall, the film stars Kevin Corrigan, Vincent D'Onofrio, Kris Kristofferson, Robert Sean Leonard, Natasha Richardson, Uma Thurman, Tuesday Weld, Frank Whaley and Steve Zahn as contemporary residents of New York's famed Chelsea Hotel. Christine Vachon and Pam Koffler of Killer Films.produced this mosaic of dreamers and artists.
Directed by Bruce Wagner, stars Beverly D'Angelo, Portia De Rossi and Marianne Jean-Baptiste as women of the film industry who are desperately searching for their place in Hollywood. Described as both a satire of the film industry and a celebration of women, this was also produced by Killer Films.
Directed by Richard Linklater, this is essentially an all-night war-of-words between two old friend, one of whom is tapes the verbal sparring. Ethan Hawke's character is still bitter that Robert Sean Leonard stole his high school girlfriend (played by Hawke's real-life wife Uma Thurman) and suspects he may have raped her. Just as the situation reaches a frenzied pitch, Thurman arrives at the hotel to recount her side of the story. The film was produced by Anne Walker and Detour Filmproduction.
Directed by Rodrigo Garcia, who made his name recently with the Sundance-selected Things You Can Tell By Looking at Her, this series of monologues featuring eleven women talking about the man they remember is set to be another showcase for top actresses. Garcia is looking to present an honest portrait of women, where memories are the only connection to the man that touched their lives.
The InDigEnt team consists of: Gary Winick and Alexis Alexanian, who oversee all productions through the InDigEnt office; Jonathan Sehring, president of IFC Films, and Caroline Kaplan, vice president of film & programme development, who oversee production at IFC Films; John Sloss, a partner in InDigEnt; and Paul Brennan of Sloss Special Projects who serves in a supervisory capacity.
Winick's penultimate film as a director, The Tic Code, starring Polly Draper and Gregory Hines, is set for release on August 4th through Lions Gate Films. Winick previously directed Sweet Nothing starring Mira Sorvino and Michael Imperioli; Out Of The Rain starring Bridget Fonda and Michael O'Keefe and the horror film Curfew. He recently completed post-production on Sam The Man, his own digital video feature that stars Fisher Stevens, Annabella Sciorra, Maria Bello, Rob Morrow and Ron Rifkin.