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TV pilot focuses on U.S. indie pix

Sundance, Slamdance fests help set scene

Getting inside the American indie scene is the focus of “Independent Spotlight,” a half-hour TV pilot hosted by AFI Fest director Jon Fitzgerald and actress-producer Meredith Scott Lynn.

Produced by Lux Pictures and created by Laura Ann Caulfield, the program has already generated considerable buzz since making the rounds of the cable companies earlier this week.

The first installment uses the backdrop of the Sundance and Slamdance fests to spotlight a quartet of recent U.S. non-mainstream pics. The titles examined are “Billy’s Hollywood Scream Kiss,” “One,” “Six-String Samurai” and “Wicked.”

Fitzgerald and Lynn trade off providing a critical assessment of each of the films. Supported with interviews with the filmmakers, the pilot manages to cover considerable ground relating to the logistical and aesthetic components involved in producing generally ultra-low-budget fare. The blend of review and overview dovetails well in the fast-paced, slickly produced package.

“American independents have developed a kind of chic image,” Caulfield observed. “But most of the media coverage has tended to be superficial and uninformed. There’s definitely a need for a program that supports the movement and offers some balance. The pilot demonstrates the real potential to deal with the broad spectrum in a way that will make a wider audience more receptive to indie movies.”