Independent films (or “indies” as people call them) have been around for as long as the filmmaking itself – they are essentially any movie without one of the big production studios backing it. Charlie Chaplin's first undertakings are a good first example.
Photo by: Alex Litvin, Unsplash
You’ve probably been going to Yorck Kinos or Kino Babylon to enjoy these special works. In times of pandemic, however, you have most likely been searching for indies online or on Netflix, where selection is limited. Stop right there! Now there’s a new kid on the block, coming from our own beloved city.
Launched in February 2021 as a collaboration between ten Berlin movie theaters and editors of the Indiekino magazine Hendrike Bake and Tom Dorow, the Indiekino Club* project is a true labor of love for very special movies. Like with all major streaming services, you pay a small monthly fee (or buy an annual pass) and stream a selection of movies any time you like. However, the big difference is that this club runs like a movie theater, showcasing independent and arthouse films, with a selection of up to twenty in a regular rotation – every week new movies replace the old ones. There’s also a curated library, where the smaller international productions as opposed to the latest blockbusters are in prevalence.
Photo by: Indiekino, Magazin Cover April/Mai 2021
Among the selection are some real gems, like the 2013 Japanese drama “Like Father, Like Son”, a tale of fatherhood and society, which got a ten-minute standing ovation when it premiered at Cannes, and “Birds of Passage”, a 2018 Colombian-Danish co-production that follows a family’s involvement in the rise of drug trafficking in Colombia. There’s also a great selection of films for children (we like “Queen of Niendorf”), as well as film festival collaborations, like most latest with the Berlin Alfilm Festival.
Today, indie and arthouse movies are less a genre and more an attitude. They are conceived as an attempt to raise against corporate and mainstream filmmaking, they are fiercely independent and often tell the stories that big studios will not and in ways they'd never consider. From our own “Berlin” perspective, we support Indiekino Club efforts to help the smaller arthouse cinemas running and to keep your minds curious and inspired. Sign up an enjoy! By the way, the open-air cinemas have already reopened, and you can view the Indiekino’s weekly offering for partners’ outdoor screenings on its website.
*The Service may not be available outside Germany, subject to licensing regulations.