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Independent Spirit

The Best New Independent Movies

The Best New Independent Movies From CinéArts


For movie lovers, it's too simple to say that independent films are just a break from the sensibility of big studio movies. There's no question that independent movies can take different risks than studio movies can. They cost a lot less, which means that ideas that seem too daring in a tentpole can be explored to their fullest in an indie. Independent films give actors and filmmakers alike room to play, and their freedom shows on screen.

The beginning of the year is a bonanza for new indie movies thanks to the Sundance Film Festival, which in 2020 runs from January 23 to February 2. As we await news on the movies that will play at that big event, let's check out the other independent films already scheduled for release at the beginning of the year. Here are some of the new indie movies coming to theatres thanks to CinéArts, our independent movie initiative.

Weathering With You

New Indie Movies: Weathering With You

[Image Credit: GKids]

Shinkai Makoto, the acclaimed filmmaker whose last movie, YOUR NAME., was one of the most popular films ever released in Japan, returns with a new story. WEATHERING WITH YOU follows a young man, Hodaka, who runs away from home during the summer following his freshman year of high school. Adrift in Tokyo, the teen's struggle to care for himself are complicated by constant rain and gloom. Then Hodaka meets Hina on a street corner. This bright and self-possessed girl possesses a strange and wonderful ability: the power to stop the rain and clear the sky. Hodaka's life will never be the same. [January 17]


New Indie Movies: Beanpole

[Image Credit: Kino Lorber]

BEANPOLE takes place during the last days of World War II, in Leningrad in 1945. The city has been devastated by siege, leaving most lives in near-total ruin. Survival in the wreckage is a constant battle between life and death. Two young women, Iya and Masha, search for meaning and hope in the struggle to rebuild their lives amongst the ruins. [January 29]

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The Assistant

New Indie Movies: Beanpole

[Image Credit: Bleecker Street]

THE ASSISTANT follows one day in the life of Jane (Julia Garner), a recent college graduate and aspiring film producer, who has recently landed her dream job as a junior assistant to a powerful entertainment mogul. Her day is much like any other assistant's -- making coffee, changing the paper in the copy machine, ordering lunch, arranging travel, taking phone messages, onboarding a new hire. But as Jane follows her daily routine, she, and we, grow increasingly aware of the abuse that insidiously colors every aspect of her work day, an accumulation of degradations against which Jane decides to take a stand, only to discover the true depth of the system into which she has entered. [January 31]

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The Lodge

New Indie Movies: New Indie Movies:  The Lodge

[Image Credit: Neon]

One of the better unsung horror movies from the last few years was GOODNIGHT MOMMY, an Austrian film that is based much more in reality than in supernatural scares. Now that film's directors, Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, return with a new bone-chilling nightmare. THE LODGE follows a family on a holiday retreat to their remote winter cabin. When the father (Richard Armitage) is forced to abruptly abandon the getaway to deal with work, he leaves his children, Aidan (IT's Jaeden Martell) and Mia (Lia McHugh) in the care of his new girlfriend, Grace (Riley Keough). Isolated and alone, a blizzard traps them inside the lodge as terrifying events summon specters from Grace's dark past. [February 7]

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First Cow

New Indie Movies: First Cow

[Image Credit: A24]

FIRST COW is the latest film from minimalist filmmaker Kelly Reichardt (CERTAIN WOMEN, MEEK'S CUTOFF), who returns to the Pacific Northwest for a period tale set in the 19th Century. John Magaro plays the appropriately-named Cookie, a loner and skilled cook who has traveled west to find a new life. He joins a group of fur trappers in Oregon Territory, and forges a connection with a Chinese immigrant (Orion Lee) also seeking his fortune. With the unwitting participation of the prized milking cow owned by a wealthy landowner, the two forge a business plan that might carry them into the future, if it doesn't put them six feet under. [March 6]

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Come back soon for more groundbreaking new indie movies from CinéArts!