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Ditch the Main-Streaming: Gift Indie Film Streaming Subscriptions

If we're being honest, 2020 has been a year dominated by an inordinate amount of movie and television watching on our part. While we are staying safe at home, we occupy our newly-found free time with Netflix, Amazon Prime, and even Curiosity Stream. But after a while, we noticed that, instead of exploring new unfamiliar titles, we got stuck in a rut of reruns. And we know many of our loved, and likely yours as well, ones are feeling the same cinematic boredom.

That's where the gift of indie film streaming subscriptions come in! Streaming services carry massive collections of movies and series you likely haven't heard of, opening the door to new cinematic experiences and offering the joy of discovering new titles that you love. We've put together a list of a few of our favorite streaming services but there is no shortage of options! By giving the gift of film this holiday season, you will be sparking and supporting the curiosity of those you love. What's better than that?


First up we have Mubi, one of the most engaging services on our list. Rather than hold titles for long periods, Mubi brilliantly makes films available for a single month and only carries 30 films at a time. Every day, the title that has been on the list longest is dropped, making room for a new film to be added to the library. We love that, with unwavering regularity, there is something new to discover. And, unlike big name services, Mubi, with only thirty features at one time, makes it easy to find and enjoy the their curated new releases without sifting through exhausted content. Mubi's world film selection is phenomenal and there is always a host of festival-winning titles. Themed seasons, exclusive content, and 'special discovery' series will surely keep you returning but, if for some reason you're longing for more, Mubi also offers titles you can rent. With almost 11,000,000 members, Mubi holds a well-deserved reputation for excellence in the world of indie films.


Next is IndieFlix, which "aims to make life better through the power and enjoyment of film, driving community, conversation and change"(1). With a focus on social impact films, IndieFlix shares under-the-radar movies and series that provokes conversation on topics of global, individual, and social challenges, as well as a variety of classic, contemporary, and micro-budget features. In addition, they host offline educational film screenings at schools and corporate events and stream curated content from film festivals to ensure everyone has access to their collection of features. Offering thousands of titles to over 85 participating countries, IndieFlix is a great gift choice for the those on your list who have been motivated by the social activism in 2020.

classic and contemporary independent features, shorts and documentaries from around the world, in an Aladdin’s Cave of thought-provoking well-known and off-the-radar content. We work directly with young up-and-coming film-makers to give them a royalty-free distribution avenue, and they are paid by each viewer and minute of their film watched.(1)

Not to be confused with IndieFlix, IndiePix Unlimited is an outstanding streaming platform with a "commitment to bringing cutting edge international cinema to global indie fans"(2) Offering a brilliant collection of 'underdog' themed, award-winning features from around the world, IndiePix streams hundreds of titles that will keep you on the edge of your seat as you root for the success of characters you'll find instant connection to. IndiePix Unlimited is available as an Amazon Video channel making it only too easy to watching their collection anywhere!

Since 2004, New York-based IndiePix Films® has delivered a highly-curated collection of the best independent films from around the world. Offering a singular catalog of nearly 2,000 films across genres, the IndiePix team selects singular titles from the international festival circuit. Avenues for distribution include their streaming service, IndiePix Unlimited, their dedicated commerce site,, which offers download-to-own, streaming rental and physical media direct to consumers, and via national retail channels and select theatrical exhibition.


Next we have the the Criterion Channel. The signature streaming service of the Criterion collection, which for more than 35 years has

been dedicated to publishing important classic and contemporary films from around the world in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements. No matter the medium—from laserdisc to DVD and Blu-ray to streaming—Criterion has maintained its pioneering commitment to presenting each film as its maker would want it seen, in state-of-the-art restorations with special features designed to encourage repeated watching and deepen the viewer’s appreciation of the art of film (3)

Given the impressive, wide-spread reputation of the Criterion Collection in the world of cinephiles, it should come as no surprise that the Criterion Channel is a beloved and top-notch streaming service. With more than 1000 films and a whopping 3,500 "supplementary features, including trailers, introductions, behind-the-scenes documentaries, interviews, video essays, commentary tracks, and rare archival footage"(3), the Channel is the ideal service through which one can immerse themselves in classic and contemporary films alike with no risk of boredom.


In addition to these picks, there are also a variety of streaming services that curate collections based on singular themes: Shudder shares an epic library of horror, suspense, and thriller titles, Dekkoo boasts the “largest collection of gay entertainment available anywhere”, Pantaya offers a collection of Latinx films, and Spuul is a mecca for fans of Bollywood productions with an impressive 10,000 hours of Bollywood film.

Whatever the movie preference of your recipient, a subscription to a film streaming service will make an outstanding gift that can brighten even the toughest moments of quarantine-isolation as we move into a new year.


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