Dear Independent Film, 

Day after day, year after year, we become more and more fond of you. We impatiently wait for you in front of giant screens; our hearts skip a beat as the theatre lights go down. We never know exactly what we’re going to get, which only builds our anticipation and excitement.

You’re all so different — that’s what makes you special. Sometimes, you invite us into stories about love and friendship; other times, families on the brink of collapsing. Sometimes, you transport us to stories set in exotic locales; other times, they could have happened in our backyards. Whatever the plot or location, you always touch our hearts. That’s why we, and audiences, love you, Indie.

We love you because of all of the amazing people you introduce us to. You’re never pushy about it: You don’t tell us, “Jennifer Lawrence is going to be a big star someday.” You just let her be a gritty character from Missouri in WINTER’S BONE. You don’t spoil the surprise by telling us, “Ryan Coogler may have directed FRUITVALE STATION today, but he’s going to direct the next big Disney Marvel film, BLACK PANTHER, so be nice to him.” You simply say, “Hey, check this out,” and let us get to know folks as they are. We get to see, before they are superstars, these are people with real talent, and we look forward to seeing more of them in the future. It’s charming, really.

Indie Film, you’re so nice to us. There are so many of you, and you all have so many things to share with us. You tell us about the experiences of people that may be different from us, whether they are older, younger, or have varying beliefs and backgrounds. And you tell us their stories with such care and attention that we can’t help but feel connected to them. You let us step out of the theatre and into the real world with a new perspective — and a new ability to see things we may have missed before. 

So, Independent Film, we can’t wait to get to know you better in 2018. As always, we’ll stay extra close to you during Oscar season. We also look forward to making new Indie Film friends at the Sundance Film Festival in January and all year round. We hear our old friend Wes Anderson is going to introduce us to a new member of his indie family, ISLE OF DOGS, in March, and our longtime indie friend Catherine Keener is bringing Jon Hamm, Nick Offerman, Patton Oswalt and a host of other friends from NOSTALGIA to our indie party in February.

Keep bringing us the greatness you’ve been bringing for 100 years, and we’ll keep making the time to see you, spend time with you and fall deeper in love, every single time the theatre lights go down and the projector lights up.