The Oscar indie : examining the rise in success of independent films at the Academy Awards

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Laforce, Ronald Alton

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The goal of this study is to understand the institutional and cultural relationship between modern American independent film and the Academy Awards by focusing on the rise in success for independent films from 1992-2007. Two are two main approaches implemented throughout the work. The first focuses on the cultural construction of the indie brand on certain films during this time and the second analyzes how a production or distribution company tries to strategize the marketing of their films to boost their Oscar chances. These approaches allow a conversation for the occurrences of when these two meet and provide a coherent film identity I have identified as an “Oscar indie.” Starting with Miramax in the 1990s and ending with the Oscar race of 2007-08 a trend can be found which shows a rise in success of “indie” branded films at the Academy Awards. The implications of this trend are as simple as more “indie” films being released each year and as complicated as changing the face of the American film industry as a whole.



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