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Why Indie Directors Give Movies Away Free Online

Cutting out the middlemen can net bigger audiences

In the age of YouTube and viral marketing campaigns, it was only a matter of time before independent filmmakers came to realize that cutting the middleman out of the process is sometimes the best way to guarantee large audiences see their works. This is especially true at a time when funding from studios has been seriously hit by the recession — just as it was on the way up.

"The last 10 years has been a renaissance period for independent filmmaking and there has been more money coming into production for films than in any other decade in the history of film," says Jonathan Wolf, managing director of the American Film Market, an annual event where filmmakers and studio executives converge to sign production and distribution deals.

But since the economic downturn, many indie movie distributors, including New Line Cinema, Miramax, the Weinstein Company and Paramount Vantage, have either left the market or slashed their funding.

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