Cinema Locale

What's Old is New Again

During the early 1900s in the United States there emerged what came to be called the Little Theatre Movement.

The Little Theatre Movement was, in part, a reaction and response to the domination of the American theatre by the melodramatic conventions of the 19th century, conventions that heavily influenced what plays were financed and produced in cities across the country.

For an important moment, the Little Theatre Movement aimed at producing plays seeking to escape the restraints of melodrama, realist works that sought to address the world as its audiences found it. Little theatres were responsible for some of the first production of Ibsen, Shaw, O’Neil and other playwrights searching for a more authentic theatre.

At the turn of another century American moviemaking is dominated by entrenched financial and artistic interests. Like the melodramas of the 19th century, many films ignore the world as their audiences experience it in favor of seeking blockbuster results.

Perhaps its time that American filmmakers cast off current conventions for new stories and methods. New modes of motion picture production and distribution have created an opportunity for just such a transformation of American cinema.

To that end we suggest what might called Cinema Locale.

What is Cinema Locale?

Films that aspire to high standards of art and craft.

Films that bring new locales to the screen and tell authentic stories about the people who live in them.

Films that are authentic because they have been made by people who live and work in the communities the films are about.

Films that speak directly to the lives of local audiences or audiences defined by common experience across localities.

Films made with modest concern for established genres or what will sell.

Films made for audiences that are available because of new modes of film distribution.

Films made outside the influence of the wannabe industry.

Films made with the understanding that Hollywood is a commercial and artistic regime more than a place where films get made.

Films made outside the major films production centers and outside the grasp of traditional film financing.

Films that provide cast and crew a living wage.


Drop us a line with your contact information and any questions you might have:

In your e-mail, please also tell the story of how you found

When we get to 300 submissions or followers on Twitter, we’ll open a forum for a discussion of the ideas expressed here.


Are you a filmmaker who has made a Cinema Locale film? Do you know someone who has made such a film? Have you seen such a film?

Let us know, we’ll showcase it here.


Cinema Locale is on twitter @cinemalocale