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7 Must Have/Must See/Must Know About DIY Films From The 00's

Yes, the first decade of the 2000's - the 00's - are not over yet, we've got over 2 years to go, but so far quite a few important DIY (do-it-yourself, independent, low-budget, self-distributed to a significant degree) movies have been released (theatrically and on DVD in most cases, whatever is not out on DVD yet should be out pretty soon - w/ in the next couple of months I believe). I have written about these movies at length in the past, so I'll provide the link & a very brief intro. to each here. If you are interested, go explore. If you are into good/well made/entertaining DIY films, DIY filmmaking, & self-distro, the movies are highly likely to entertain or enlighten you and the amazing "making of" & "distribution of" stories behind them are highly likely to get you motivated towards getting your own excellent DIY movies done & out.

And here are the movies:

The Debut
A coming of age story. Theatrically self-distributed, earning several hundred thousand/close to or over a million dollars at the theaters if I recall correctly.

Robot Stories
Excellent humanistic sci-fi drama. Low budget but definitely high quality. Theatrically self-distributed, along with a ton of festival play.

First time feature doc about young African-Americans in the US punk rock scene. Screened across the country on tours the way that punk bands take their music out to the people.

Shot on Hi-8, throws most of the filmmaking rules out the window, wins awards at festivals and adds to the filmmaker's growing list of underground features and the very impressive DIY career thus far.

Kicking Bird
Solid, moving drama about a young kid with long distance running skills. Still being shown around the country by the self-distributing/touring filmmaker.

Head Trauma
Good old indie smarty horror. A DIY production, theatrically self-distributed, often inventively promoted, and made available nation wide on DVD through excellent collaborations with different distributors & retailers.

Jumping Off Bridges
Touching family story, excellently made, and screened around the country at film festivals and DIY screenings/collaborations with health professionals. Directed by a female director - which is unfortunately still a rare thing in the indie (& Hollywood) fiction feature filmmaking world.

Check them all out. Get the DVDs & create your own "generation DIY" film festival at your house. Unlike the one happening at the IFC Center later this month, your personal fest that uses the above movies will have age & gender diversity in the ranks of the filmmakers, mainstream accessible stories & high quality production values for the most part, with a work by an underground filmmaking legend thrown in for creative diversity & sheer whacked out fun. The DIY movies listed on this page don't mumble :), they say what they mean (sooner or later) and they say it passionately & lovingly. These films are not dull, they are exciting and they are the "real thing" - in more ways than one - when it comes to enjoyable & inspiring American DIY filmmaking from this decade.

- Sujewa


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