Independent's Day (not to be confused with Independence Day) is a fast moving, funny and somewhat informative documentary about the Sundance Film Festival with nods to Slamdance and Slumdance.
Its primary focus is the nature of independent films and how they fit into the larger film world picture. The documentary produced, directed and written by Marina Zenovich was made in 1996-97 with various cinematographers and shot at many locations with different video equipment.
The documentary features interviews with Steven Soderbergh, Neal Labute, Tom DiCillo, Greg Mottola, Roger Ebert and many other known and unknown filmmakers and film industry people as well as people who are the head of the festival. Each interview is neatly broken up and expertly assembled by Stephen Garrett into each of the film's chapters.
If you have every attended the Sundance Film Festival this will probably not tell you anything you don't already know; there are no secrets about the festival revealed. The concept that young filmmakers can go from rags to riches is up front as is the chic Los Angeles - New York attitude that comes into Park City every January for the festival. But it does give you the feeling at times of what it is like to be there in the heady indie film world of the festival.
The Documentary is shot in digital video and presented in 1.33:1. Some of the video quality is very good and some is soft and poor. But it takes nothing from the content of the film.
There is a director and editor commentary, with Marina Zenovich and Stephen Garrett that is more like a good conversation and adds much to the making of the documentary. There are extended interviews with Neal Labute, Sydney Pollack, Bryan Singer and Steven Soderbergh and there are three early versions of the film which provide basically the same footage only with a different edit and much shorter.
This is an engaging and fairly enjoyable documentary that gives viewers a bit of insight to the Sundance film festival and the world of Independent film. The DVD has good extras.