free cinema

Free Cinema is an experiment with two goals: 1) To introduce independent filmmakers to the ideas behind the burgeoning free-culture movement. 2) To see if applying those ideas to feature filmmaking will result in something new and interesting.

Now that digital technology has made the feature film as cheap to produce as a novel (i.e., for nothing), it has become possible for filmmakers to experiment with their own copyrights in ways that were formerly impractical.

It is a virtual certainty that Hollywood will not be conducting these experiments.

That leaves us. And the free-culture movement is showing us the way. Already, Open Source and Free Software have transformed the software industry, making software creators happier, better and more independent. New musicians are getting turned on to free culture every day.

What feature filmmakers are going to put their toes in this water? What new and exciting cinema could be created outside of the standard Hollywood copyright dogma? What happens when you set a feature film free?

Free Cinema intends to find out. To help focus our efforts, we made rules:

Rule One: No money may be spent on the production
Make a film for free, and suddenly giving it away is a lot easier.

Rule Two: The film must be copylefted
A "copyleft" means that you let anyone copy and/or make new things from your film--as long as they promise to release anything they make from it with the same terms.

Is this the only way to apply free-culture ideals to filmmaking? No. It might not even be the best way. It's just the Free Cinema way. It's an experiment.

And if you do it now, you'll be one of the first.

More information about Free Cinema and the rules is contained in the FAQ.

To get occasional updates on Free Cinema happenings, you can sign up for the newsletter.

Brian Flemming, a filmmaker and playwright, is the founder of Free Cinema.


"Film will only become art when its materials are as inexpensive as pencil and paper."

Jean Cocteau

a link to this site to a friend

to the Free Cinema newsletter