Indie films on Amazon Video Direct as part of the Film Festival Stars program
Amazon announced today that 15 films from the 2017 Sundance Film Festival are available to Prime members.
The films include Manifesto starring Cate Blanchett, and award-winning films Marjorie Prime, and Free and Easy. The movies are being featured on Amazon Video Direct, a medium that lets individuals post videos and make money from them.
Amazon has been recruiting filmmakers to the platform, especially from the film festival circuit. The company has made offers at the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival and SXSW. The ecommerce giant snagged the Sundance films and others as part of its new Film Festival Stars program.
“We launched the Film Festival Stars Program at Sundance earlier this year because we heard from our customers they love watching independent films,” Eric Orme, head of Amazon Video Direct, said in a statement. “So far in 2017, FFS has secured the streaming rights to 76 feature films that we’re confident will thrill and delight our customers.”
Orme said that Amazon will be extending Film Festival Stars to the 2018 Sundance Film Festival with an emphasis on global distribution and enhanced bonuses for filmmakers.
15 films from 2017 Sundance Film Festival on Amazon Video Direct
From a historic genocide trial to the ousting of a president, director Pamela Yates tells the sweeping story of mounting resistance in Guatemala through the eyes of the majority indigenous Mayan population, who now stand poised to reimagine their society.
In Axolotl Overkill, 16-year-old Mifti is a beautiful and reckless young girl. Her mother is dead, and her wealthy, eccentric father is too self-absorbed to be responsible for her. Mifti has no use for peers her own age, and being aware of the sexual power she wields with her looks and youth, she immerses herself in a world of adults of questionable character. Lovesick over an elusive older woman, she strikes up a friendship with Ophelia, an actress, and together they test the limits through Berlin nightlife and extreme partying.
Don’t Swallow My Heart, Alligator Girl!
The film follows Joca, a 13-year-old Brazilian boy, and Basano La Tatuada, a Paraguayan indigenous girl, living on the border between the two countries, marked by the waters of the Rio Apa. Joca is in love with Basano and wants to do everything to win her love.
In Family Life, a young man spends a few weeks housekeeping for a relatively distant relative and enjoys taking over the comfort of their lives in Santiago. Soon, he meets a cute neighbor and starts pretending for his personal benefit.
Free And Easy
When a traveling soap salesman arrives in a desolate Chinese town, a crime occurs, and sets the strange residents against each other with tragicomic results. Free And Easy was this year’s winner of Special Jury Award for Cinematic Vision.
Director Rahul Jain presents an intimate, observantly portrayal of the rhythm of life and work in a gigantic textile factory in Gujarat, India. Moving through the corridors and bowels of the enormous and disorientating structure, the camera takes the viewer on a journey to a place of dehumanizing physical labor and intense hardship, provoking cause for thought about persistent pre-industrial working conditions and the huge divide between first world and developing countries. Machines won the Sundance Jury Award for Excellence in Cinematography.
In the film, Actress Cate Blanchett portrays 13 distinct characters in vignettes that incorporate timeless manifestos–among them a school teacher, a puppeteer, a newsreader, a factory worker and a homeless man. Director Julian Rosefeldt draws on the writings of Futurists, Dadaists, Supremacists, Situtationists, and other artist groups, and the musings of individual artists, architects, dancers and filmmakers to create Manifesto.
Set in the near future, Michael Almereyda’s sci-fi pic Marjorie Prime, is based on Jordan Harrison’s Pulitzer-nominated play exploring memory, identity, love and loss. 86-year-old Marjorie has a handsome new companion who looks like her deceased husband and is programmed to feed the story of her life back to her. What would we remember, and what would we forget, if given the chance? The film won Sundance Film Festival’s Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize.
Motherland is set at one of the world’s largest and busiest maternity hospitals in the Philippines. Ramona S. Diaz’s film follows three women as they navigate through the severe conditions of giving birth there — from jam-packed delivery rooms to overflowing corridors where babies are misplaced and then found. Motherland was the winner of the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award.
Plastic China captures a plaintive sense of the human casualties from unfettered global consumerism. The gently observed portrait of families toiling at a plastic recycling factory in Shandong builds into a damning commentary on a modern China marked by extreme divides in wealth and opportunity.
On a chance encounter, a disenchanted architect bumps into his long-lost elephant on the streets of Bangkok. Excited, he takes his elephant on a journey across Thailand, in search of the farm where they grew up together. Winner of the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for screenwriting.
RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World
This powerful documentary about the role of Native Americans in contemporary music history features some of the greatest music stars of our time–Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Jesse Ed Davis, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Robbie Robertson, and Randy Castillo. The film exposes a critical missing chapter, revealing how indigenous musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives and, through their contributions, influenced popular culture. Winner of the World Cinema Documentary Special Jury Award for Masterful Storytelling.
Sueño en otro idioma (I Dream in Another Language)
When a language dies, a unique vision of the world is lost forever. In I Dream in Another Language, a linguist arrives in a small jungle settlement hoping to record a conversation between two elderly men, the last two remaining speakers of the Zikril language. Unfortunately for him, the men are feuding and haven’t spoken to each other in 50 years. Winner of the World Dramatic Audience Award.
The Good Postman
On the eastern edge of Bulgaria, bordering Turkey, amid wizened orchards and an ancient patchwork of farmlands, sits a poor and sleepy hamlet that time seems to have forgotten. Despite the sparse population of silver-haired citizens wistful for the brighter days of communism, democracy is in full force as the village prepares in earnest for its mayoral election. Meanwhile, an endless train of Syrian refugees bound for Europe silently traipses through the rural terrain, visible through the binoculars of one gentle and taciturn candidate, the good postman.
World Without End (No Reported Incidents)
Known for decades as a visual poet, filmmaker Jem Cohen has captured various corners of the world with a perceptive eye in World Without End (No Reported Incidents). Often filming by himself, Cohen takes a camera (16mm film, and more recently, video) and walks on the street like a modern-day Walker Evans, capturing images of people and landscapes in our smallest moments–everyday faces, vacant street corners, trinkets in windows, all the things we might see sitting on the bus and wish we could see again in a film.