Indie Roundup is your weekly guide to what's new and upcoming in the world of independent cinema. Pictured above: The People I've Slept With.
Opening / Expanding. With distribution channels tightening and specialty distributors becoming ever more cautious, some filmmakers are assuming -- or resuming -- the role in order to find the widest audience possible.
At his site Film Hustler (an apt moniker), writer/director Quentin Lee details his "adventures in self distribution." (Full disclosure: I first met Quentin when his scrappy drama Ethan Mao debuted at AFI Fest, where I was employed at the time in the programming office. Last year I called it one of the top ten indie films of the decade.) His latest labor of love, a romantic comedy entitled The People I've Slept With, stars Karin Cheung, Archie Kao and Wilson Cruz, and is a lovely, very funny, and piercingly honest story about an admittedly promiscuous woman who must come to grips with her true feelings about love and romance when she becomes unexpectedly pregnant. It played very well with a full house as the closing night presentation of the Asian Film Festival of Dallas, where I saw it.
The People I've Slept With grew out of Lee's friendship with Cheung after they met on the set of Justin Lin's Better Luck Tomorrow. They decided they wanted to work together, sparked on an idea, developed the story over a couple of years, recruited Koji Steven Sakai to write the script, and raised the financing (just ahead of the stock market crash of 2008). The happy result has been making the festival rounds in anticipation of a distribution deal.