Indie Roundup is your guide to what's new and upcoming in the independent film world. Pictured above, clockwise from top: Oliver Stone and Hugo Chavez, Monsters, The Taqwacores.
Fest Scene. The Cannes film festival has announced its opener: Ridley Scott's Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe (not pictured above, because we want to reserve that spot for actual indie films). That should make for a great red-carpet event, with the prospect of Crowe glowering politely at photographers. And it will serve its purpose: to draw attention to a slate of independent films not featuring household names. More information on the announcement at indieWIRE; predictions on what might play can be found, among other places, at IonCinema.
Deals. SXSW is not a market/festival, like Cannes, but it has, however, showcased or premiered a good number of films that have gone on to gain distribution. In the case of Gareth Edwards' Monsters, which had its world premiere at the fest, the showcase has resulted in an immediate deal, with Magnet picking up rights. Peter Hall reviewed it for SciFi Squad: "It's not about blowing your mind with action, it's about creating an all-encompassing universe in which this subtle and soft story can exist." Monsters is a unique film and deserves a unique marketing angle.
Muslim punk scene feature The Taqwacores debuted at Sundance and is now set for distribution this fall via Strand Releasing, says indieWIRE. The deal was announced just as SXSW was getting under way -- and noted by our own Christopher Campbell -- but I wanted to repeat it. First, because I love typing "Taqwacores," and second, because you can never have too many films set in