Indie Radar: Fall Films

Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton in Jeff Nichols upcoming film “Loving” (photo: Focus Features)

Indie Radar is our monthly look at what’s coming up in the world of independent and foreign films. Here you’ll find film stills, trailers, and clips from movies you’ll see in theaters in the next couple of weeks or months. We can’t promise they will all play on our screens, but these are the titles on our radar.

The fall film slate has released their first round of trailers so we thought we’d check back in to share some exciting titles and clips from the world of indie film. The fall is a big time for indie studios, because it traditionally marks the beginning of their Oscar push. These titles are the best of the year (hopefully!) and usually include big names, big directors, and reflect the types of films we’ll be talking about for years to come. Below are a few of the titles that will be heavily discussed in the coming months by critics, fans, and the Academy.

Morris From America

A hit out of the Sundance Film Festival, Morris From America is a fish-out-of-water, coming-of-age movie about a young boy and his father relocating to Germany. Early reviews are calling it a charming crowd-pleaser with a great father-son dynamic between newcomer Markees Christmas and comedian Craig Robinson (The Office, This Is The End). With a mid-August release, this under-the-radar title could be the sleeper hit of the season.

Southside With You

A Richard-Linklater-style walk-and-talk that follows our soon-to-be former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle on their very first date. The entire film takes place on one day in 1989 as the couple travel around Chicago discussing politics, change, and social responsibility. The roles of arguably the most famous couple in the world will be played by two relatively lesser-known actors — so this film may also serve as the catalyst for two young careers. To give you a sense of the time period of the film, on their date Michelle and Barack catch a screening of the latest Spike Lee film Do The Right Thing.

American Honey

British television actress-turned-director Andrea Arnold has released a slew of gorgeously shot, powerful films including 2009’s Cannes Jury Prize winner Fish Tank. American Honey (which once again took home the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival) is a nearly three-hour road movie about a teenage runaway joining a group of young misfits partying their way across the country. A handful of reviews after the festival have very positive things to say about Arnold’s first film set in America, so we’re really looking forward to this title.

The Light Between Oceans

Real-life couple Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbinder star as husband and wife in this period drama set at the dusk of World War I. Director Derek Cianfrance has made a name for himself in the indie world because of his moody, high-drama realism in the films Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond the Pines. This title looks a bit more straight-forward than his last two, but is sure to be packed with gorgeous direction and cinematography.

The Birth of a Nation

This film already made headlines earlier in the year because of it’s bold re-claiming title and the record-breaking sale at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. Writer, director and star Nate Parker plays historical figure Nat Turner, who led a slave rebellion in 1831. Birth of a Nation has already been met with rave reviews and a standing ovation at its Sundance premiere. It’s too early to call Best Picture nominations, but this title is sure to be in the running.


The second release of the year from director Jeff Nichols (Mud, Midnight Special) is a celebrated Cannes release starring Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga. This film is the true story of an interracial couple (serendipitously named Richard and Mildred Loving) who fought in the Supreme Court for their right to marry. A timely and important film that has been praised for its powerful performances and direction.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Ang Lee’s last film The Life of Pi was a major studio release that won four Oscars (mostly for visual effects). This is part of the reason his latest film is getting so much buzz. After premiering footage from Billy Lynn at the National Association of Broadcasters trade show, everyone was talking about frame rates. Basically, as we all know, films are comprised of thousands upon thousands of still images pieced together to create a moving image. Typically, the standard frame rate in cinema (for just about every movie you can think of) is 24 fps (frames per second). A notable exception is Peter Jackson’s Hobbit Trilogy which doubled the standard at 48 fps. Billy Lynn boasts an impressive 120 fps — an industry record. We’re very curious to see what this looks like on the big screen, especially in 4K.

La La Land

Damien Chazelle’s follow-up to the surprise hit film Whiplash is a stylish musical set in modern day L.A. but with old Hollywood charm. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone reunite as a jazz pianist and a struggling actress who meet and fall in love, all set to the compositions of Justin Hurwitz, who was the musical director for Whiplash as well. J.K. Simmons will also appear in the movie, but the word is still out on whether his character will be as terrifying as his role in Chazelle’s last film.

The Founder

Long live the Michael Keaton renaissance! For the past two years, Keaton has starred in two of the biggest films of the year: 2014’s Birdman and 2015’s Spotlight — so obviously there are big hopes for this film. Keaton plays the morally ambiguous Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s as we know it. This film was supposed to be released in a few weeks, but was recently pushed back to the winter, which usually means that The Weinstein Company is preparing a big Oscar campaign for this title.

While there are a lot of great titles on the horizon, we also have Woody Allen’s latest (opening July 29) and a new Viggo Mortensen film coming up in the next few weeks! Watch their trailers below. Let us know what movies you’re most looking forward to and any that we might have missed!

Cafe Society — Opens July 29th

Captain Fantastic — Coming Soon!

Like what you read? Give Mike Kamison a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.