Local indie film site takes on life of its own
Initially launched to promote filmmakers’ own flicks, site has burgeoning library of films from other local moviemakers
Nothing motivates a filmmaker as much as the opportunity to have their film seen, which is a big reason why three local filmmakers created their own website for locally made independent films: indiekoala.com.
In July, Jith Paul, Ed Kucerak and Karim Ayari launched the movie-viewing website with five of their own films including Paul’s first feature, Algebra, Thirteen Downs and Aryari’s Perfect, but in the time the site’s been up, it’s become an online hub for dozens of other locally made features, shorts and documentaries, including many Digi60 award winners.
Kucerak’s documentaries include Partners For Peace, How Can a Boy and The Secret Lives of Butterflies. In 2012, Ayari wrote and directed his first feature film, Thirteen Downs, and shot Algebra, which Paul directed. It won the best technical quality award at Digi60. Every title is available for viewing on the site.
Like Netflix and similar streaming video websites, members screen movies on their computer. Features cost between $2 to $5, while older films are available for free.
“It’s a grassroots business we built ourselves to pique interest in our films,” says Paul, 41, who gave up a career as an electronics engineer in 2009 to make films. “Years ago, I would make hundreds of DVD copies of my film, drop them off at video stores and distributors, and wait for them to call.”
Paul is currently filming his new short film A Clean Slate.
“I thought that by creating the website for our films, we’d expose our work to a wider audience but then we found that people want to see films made here. There are a lot of filmmakers in Ottawa and it’s a maturing community. Ottawa is generating a lot of interesting independent film.”