Prosperous Sundance Film Festival and the increasingly serious independent film dilemma

When it comes to the Sundance Film Festival, the first reaction of most people is the excellent independent film. However, the serious brain drain problem in independent films in recent years is exclaiming: Can we still see independent films in the future?

Independent films have been hailed as the forefront of the entertainment industry, and their collaboration with online video sites such as YouTube and Netflix has been relishing. Whereas, the growing online broadcast platforms are also eroding the independent film industry – and it seems that an increasing number of independent filmmakers are turning to work in the television industry.

The Sundance Film Festival is the world’s premier independent film festival, a film festival dedicated to independent filmmakers, designed to encourage low-cost, independently produced films that express a different purpose than Hollywood movies. The influence in North America is second only to the Oscars and the Golden Globes. Many excellent works such as “Slumdog Millionaire”, “Fruitvale Station” and ” Whiplash ” have all attracted attention from the festival.

Reed Martin, the author of the independent production guide Reel Truth, acknowledges that people’s dream now is to write and direct a movie, show it in Sundance, and then use this qualification to become the master of primetime TV shows, such as Lena Dunham, or Become a TV presenter or director. In this way, it is more cost-effective to make a movie from the movie to the hottest TV circle than to spend time and money to make a movie that I don’t know if I can sell it. Therefore, some people think that the prosperity of the Sundance Film Festival is only a false prosperity. Independent filmmakers flock here, expecting not only to find a good seller for their movie but also to find a good boss for themselves.


(Sundance Film Festival)

In the West, the brain drain of the independent film industry is worrying, while in China, independent film is a hot concept.

At the Sundance Film Festival in 2018, “Dead Pigs”, directed by the young director from China, Yan Yuxi, won the best group drama of the world drama film unit, and also made the world see China’s independent film.

In China, independent films are still an official reluctance to mention, however, the concept that is highly respected for ordinary. China’s independent film themes are various. An interesting example is that Gansu youth Li Ruizhen chose the villagers in his village to be actors. This purely original film has made a big splash at the festival, and it has made the entire backward northwestern region of China know what is called an independent film.

Under the current censorship system in China, many movies are destined to be filmed and released. But this can not suppress the desire of young directors to express. In this land, young directors are not only obsessively telling stories they want to tell, but also trying to host an independent film festival in China. The FIRST Youth Film Festival held in Xining, Qinghai is one of the most representative ones. It has been held for more than ten years. The independent film The Coffin in the Mountain is well known through this film festival and becomes the phenomenal level work of the year.



Barnes, B. (2015). Small Screen Is Big Player at Sundance. Retrieved from

Chai, ZW. (2018). The next break of the independent film. Retrieved from

Sun, JJ and Wen, XY. (2015). Hollywood is giving way to the television industry?. Retrieved from

Teng, C. (2018). Sundance Film Festival has a Chinese face. Retrieved from

Turn, K. (2016). Sundance: From buzzy to under-the-radar, a festival for every film fan. Retrieved from


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