Indie Game: The Movie wins at Sundance Film Festival

It was a red carpet weekend for James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot, the Canadian hipster-glasses-wearing directors of Indie Game: The Movie. Just days after learning their video game documentary had caught the attention of HBO execs, the pair were in the news again this Saturday for taking home the prize for Best Editing in the World Cinema Documentary category.

“We can not tell you how much this means to us and how completely and utterly our minds are blown,” the team wrote on their site. “We shot over 300 hours of footage in making this film, and the edit was, by far, the most difficult aspect of the process. We couldn’t be more proud to receive this award.”

While Indie Game: The Movie didn't nab the biggest trophy in the World Cinema Documentary category (those honors fell to the US drug documentary The House I Live In), the Best Editing nod is more than enough to put James and Lisanne on the map, and nudge the video gaming industry even further into the mainstream spotlight. It also gives HBO more incentive to go forward with its previously announced intentions to develop the indie gaming film into a half hour dramatic series.

“The festival’s belief in this little film has very much changed our lives. It’s been amazing, hugely educational and most importantly, endlessly inspiring,” wrote the directors.

Indie Game: The Movie is scheduled to play to sold out audiences in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada) this weekend. Further shows will be added if enough fans ask for it on the doc's Facebook page.


  • EwoksTasteLikeChicken - January 30, 2012 12:50 p.m.

    Any chance this'll be coming to DVD? No chance I'll get HBO just to watch this.
  • BladedFalcon - January 30, 2012 10:21 a.m.

    My cynisism for the subject topic aside, it's great that they won, specially because really, seems like it deserves it. Still not entirely convinced on it... But I'll guess I will have to eventually watch it in order to find out.
  • An_Awesome_Guy - January 30, 2012 10:35 a.m.

    What topic exactly? Independent game development or just documentaries on development in general? (I don't intend to sound snarky or rude, I am just curious.)
  • BladedFalcon - January 30, 2012 10:58 a.m.

    Independent game development. Again, I have to watch the movie to judge it with complete accuracy, but based on the trailer alone, it felt like the film was focused more on the woes of the indie developers than in the indie games themselves. My beef that sort of thing is that as a gamer, what i care about are the games, if it's a movie that focuses on how and why are the games created, cool. But I am not as enthusiastic to hear about how misunderstood or abused the indie devs are. The fact that the trailer also featured a lot of rather pretentious shots of the developers, (Such as those of Jonathon blow sitting against the light.) didn't help either.
  • An_Awesome_Guy - January 30, 2012 11:39 a.m.

    Yeah, I see what you're getting at, the shot of Phil Fish jumping into a swimming pool was almost cringe worthy, but I still think it's quite an interesting subject, development-wise.
  • BladedFalcon - January 30, 2012 12:19 p.m.

    Possibly, if it really was as obnoxiously pretentious as sometimes think it would be, I don't think it would have gotten all the acclaim it's finally getting. Then again, critics often end up loving pretentiousness rather than bashing it. (Just look at how they adore most of the Cohen brother's movies.)

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