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Although principally forgotten this day, the 1949 movie Pinky had an important influence at the global of cinema. Directed through Elia Kazan, the movie used to be a field workplace luck regardless of facing the era’s such a lot taboo subjects—miscegenation and racial passing—and garnered an Academy Award nomination for its African American superstar, Ethel Waters.
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A signiﬁcant role in the emerging infrastructure of the second half of the 1980s was also played by John Pierson, as a pioneering producers’ representative, mediating between new or emerging ﬁlmmakers and distributors and in some cases providing development funds such as the $10,000 invested in She’s Gotta Have It and $53,000 contributed towards the completion of Go Fish. Pierson subsequently took up ofﬁce under the wing of Miramax before creating a new forum with his Split Screen show on the Independent Film Channel, which has commissioned numerous short segments from established and up-and-coming ﬁlmmakers.
A crowded or over-crowded marketplace is a sign of health, in some respects, but it is likely to restrict the opportunity for smaller, more unconventional and less commercial features to ﬁnd an audience. A question often asked by industry insiders and commentators is: would a Poison or a Slacker make it to ﬁrst base today, to gaining festival and critical prominence, a distributor and a visible release? Not that all of the earlier generation ‘indie classics’ were given an easy time. Slacker was shown as a work in progress at the Independent Feature Film Market in 1989 and gained a £35,000 advance sale to German television.
Excessive numbers of indie features were competing for the same limited market, usually thought to be about ﬁve per cent of the total ﬁlm-going public. Estimates vary, but the production ﬁgure by the end of the 1990s was put in the region of 1,300 to 1,500 features a year, far from all of which would ﬁnd a distributor. ’60 Competition was not just between rival distributors but also internal. Miramax, for example, released the performance-based friendship drama Walking and Talking (1996) within days of two of its biggest ﬁlms of the year, adaptations of Jane Austen’s Emma and Irving Walsh’s Trainspotting.