Independent Cinema doesn’t appear from thin air

Independent cinema doesn’t simply appear from thin air. Throughout chapter two Newman continues to refer to “institutions” when discussing independent cinema. In this case, when Newman refers to institutions, he is referring to the film festivals which are the foundation from which independent cinema originates. Film festivals as institutions are important because it shows how there is a cultural category through institutional channels when discussing independent cinema. According to Newman, “This makes a community of the different persons and groups for whom indie is a meaningful concept; they form this community around their investment in ideas of what indie is and is not” (Newman, 50). People are able to be involved and participate with these institutions and feel as though they are sharing a common culture. 

Film festivals as an institution are a great way to create a community within the art world. In order to maintain an institution there are a lot of factors to be considered. According to Newman, “The roles that I want to consider most centrally in this chapter are the institutions through which independent films are most directly assessed: the venues of the cinematic experience and the discourse through which they are experienced” (Newman, 51). Not only is the venue for which the film festivals are held important but the way in which indie cinema draws in people from all over to discuss something they all have in common. 

Institutions can be seen as a cultural category for many reasons. First of all institutions represent film festivals and are used as a way to bring people with similar interest together. According to Newman, “It is only by distinguishing some kinds of films from others that the cultural logic of the arts institution can be made to apply to cinema. And it is primarily through the institution of the film festival that this cultural logic is applied” (Newman, 57). Film festivals are the central place where independent cinema can be viewed and where people from all over can discuss the art of independent cinema. Through the different categories of independent cinema film festivals have to offer, such as Sundance Film Festival, people are able to support and show their common interest. This creates a cultural category for independent cinema, which is traced back to institutions.


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