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Indie Film Release Guide: July 3rd [An ONTD Original]

ONTD Indie Release Guide Graphic.png

Fourth of July weekend is usually led by blockbuster releases at the box office, but this year is a major exception for obvious reasons. Disney is debuting Hamilton on their Disney+ platform, but otherwise, it's a quiet weekend for big studio films. Even for indies, the pickings aren't bountiful, but you've certainly got options.

The films listed are from studios other than the “Big Six” - Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Columbia/Sony and Disney. Check out the posts from the past few weeks for more movies that may have already come to VOD: June 26th, June 19th, and June 12th.

John Lewis: Good Trouble

Director: Dawn Porter
Genre: Documentary
Storyline: Chronicles Georgia Representative John Lewis’ 60-plus years of social activism and legislative action on civil rights, voting rights, gun control, health-care reform and immigration.
What you should know: Late last year, Congressman Lewis announced that he is fighting Stage IV pancreatic cancer.
Where to stream: Virtual cinemas, and available VOD


Stars: Nasim Pedrad, Anna Camp, Sarah Burns, Lamorne Morris
Writer: Ellen Rapoport
Director: LP
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Plot: A panicked young woman, with her reluctant friends in tow, rushes to Mexico to try and delete a ranting email she sent to her new boyfriend.
What you should know: This is a reunion for Nasim Pedrad and Lamorne Morris, who also starred together on New Girl.
Where to stream: Netflix

Suzi Q

Director: Liam Firmager
Genre: Documentary
Storyline: Story of trailblazing American rock singer-songwriter Suzi Quatro, who helped redefine the role of women in rock 'n' roll when she broke out in 1973.
What you should know: Musicians interviewed for this documentary include Joan Jett, Debbie Harry and KT Tunstall.
Where to stream: Available VOD

Denise Ho: Becoming the Song

Director: Sue Williams
Genre: Documentary
Storyline: This timely documentary explores the openly gay singer's remarkable journey from Cantopop superstar to outspoken political activist, putting her life and career on the line in support of Hong Konger's struggle to maintain their political freedom.
What you should know: The film is in English and Cantonese
Where to stream: Virtual cinemas

The Outpost

Stars: Orlando Bloom, Scott Eastwood, Caleb Landry Jones, Milo Gibson
Writer: Eric Johnson, Paul Tamasy
Director: Rod Lurie
Genre: Drama, History, War
Plot: A small unit of U.S. soldiers, alone at the remote Combat Outpost Keating, located deep in the valley of three mountains in Afghanistan, battles to defend against an overwhelming force of Taliban fighters in a coordinated attack.
What you should know: Based on the book by Jake Tapper.
Where to stream: Available VOD

Family Romance, LLC

Stars: Miki Fujimaki, Umetani Hideyasu, Shun Ishigaki, Mahiro
Writer/Director: Werner Herzog
Genre: Drama
Plot: The film tells the story of a Tokyo-based company that offers the perfect stand-ins for absent family members, friends or admirers – available to rent for any occasion. In a fictionalised take on this real-life company, Herzog follows founder Yuichi Ishii as he helps his clients make their dreams come true. But when the mother of 12-year-old Mahiro hires Ishii to impersonate her missing ex-husband, the line between performance and reality threatens to blur.
What you should know: It’s in Japanese
Where to stream: Mubi

Viena and the Fantomes

Stars: Dakota Fanning, Frank Dillane, Caleb Landry Jones, Evan Rachel Wood
Writer/Director: Gerardo Naranjo
Genre: Drama, Music, Romance
Plot: Viena, a young roadie, travels with the Fantomes, an edgy post-punk band, as they tour through America in the 1980s. What starts out as a wild ride of concerts and parties quickly descends into an alcohol and drug induced haze. Viena finds herself trapped in a dangerous love triangle between a good natured roadie and an unbalanced band member, as she is forced to find her own means of survival - no matter the cost.
What you should know: Director Gerardo Naranjo has directed on TV shows such as Fear the Walking Dead, Narcos, and The Bridge.
Where to stream: Available VOD

Street Survivors: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash

Stars: Ian Shultis, Taylor Clift, Samuel Kay Forrest, Rich Dally III
Writer/Director: Jared Cohn
Genre: Biography, Drama
Plot: In 1977, a plane carrying Southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd mysteriously runs out of gas mid-air en route to a concert, crashing into a dangerous Louisiana swamp while killing several of the band members, crew and both pilots. This film tells the story thru one of the survivors, drummer Artimus Pyle, who not only survived the fatal crash (that claimed the life of the band’s founder and front man Ronnie Van Zant amongst others), but who also bravely pulled the remaining survivors out of the plane wreckage before staggering towards the nearest farmhouse in rural Louisiana to seek help.
What you should know: Narrated by crash survivor and Lynyrd Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle.
Where to stream: Available VOD

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

Stars: Will Ferrell, Rachel McAdams, Dan Stevens, Pierce Brosnan
Writer: Will Ferrell, Andrew Steele
Director: David Dobkin
Genre: Comedy, Music
Plot: When aspiring musicians Lars and Sigrit are given the opportunity to represent their country at the world's biggest song competition, they finally have a chance to prove that any dream worth having is a dream worth fighting for.
What you should know: OP missed adding this to last week’s post! Apologies.
Where to stream: Netflix

Not Indie, But New to Streaming:


Stars: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom, Jr., Daveed Diggs, Renée Elise Goldsberry
Writer: Lin-Manuel Miranda, based on the book by Ron Chernow
Director: Thomas Kail
Genre: Musical, Drama, History
Plot: Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, this musical has taken the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre—a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education.
What you should know: Filmed at the Richard Rodgers Theater in June 2016, this live recording was originally set to be released in theaters next year, before the pandemic changed the release plans.
Where to stream: Disney+

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What have you been watching, ONTD?
Tags: accidents, actor / actress, adaptations, asian celebrities, black celebrities, broadway / theatre, dakota / elle fanning, dan stevens, daveed diggs, eurovision, evan rachel wood, film, film - comedy, film - documentary, film - drama, film - foreign, film - historical, film - musical, film - romance, film trailer / stills / clips, indie film release guide, lgbtq film / media, lin-manuel miranda / hamilton, music / musician, music / musician (pop), music / musician (rock), nepotism, netflix, ontd original, orlando bloom, politics, rachel mcadams, saturday night live (nbc), will ferrell

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