Alternative cinema is an artistic practice that has been widely overlooked. As I discuss significant films and cinematic works of art, it is important to know that there are not only advocates for alternative cinema, there are also organizations based around it. A local (Albuquerque, NM) non-profit organization, Basement Films, is one that comes to mind.
Basement Films is a wonderful film organization that holds a passion for keeping under-represented forms of film and video-making alive. I have been a member of this organization for about a year now and let me tell you, it has been an eye-opening experience. For one, this organization is the home to over 8,000 16mm films, thousands of 35mm films, and hundreds of 8mm films. Who knew that these films could still be in use?
Not only does this organization find creative ways to keep analog film alive, they also host an incredible experimental film festival every year in April called “Experiments in Cinema” In this festival, many notable filmmakers from around the world show their work and many of these films are challenging and refreshing.
Alternative cinema is considered an acquired taste by many, but it is important to know that there are communities out there that truly relish under-represented forms of filmmaking and have a fervent passion for keeping this artistic practice alive. Other notable organizations include:
- the Experimental Film Society that was founded out of Iran
- Canyon Cinema, a notable distrubutor of avant-garde films
- Alternative Projections, which focuses on experimental work from Los Angeles that came out in the post-war era
Overall, there’s a good amount of support in this field, but the truth is – there’s still not enough. Basement Films is one of the few and important organizations, and hopefully in the bright future, more artists will look to alternative cinema and keep this artistic practice immortal.