Indie Game: The Movie

Indie Game: The Movie

Edmund McMillen as seen in INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE, a film by Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky. Picture courtesy BlinkWorks. All rights reserved.

Indie Game: The Movie

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Production Company:

* Most external filmography links go to The Internet Movie Database.

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Indie Game: The Movie (2011/2012)

Opened: 05/18/2012 Limited

IFC Center05/18/2012 - 05/31/201214 days
NoHo 705/18/2012 - 05/24/20127 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube

Genre: Canadian Documentary

Rated: Unrated


With the twenty-first century comes a new breed of struggling independent artist: the indie game designer. Refusing to toil for major developers, these innovators independently conceive, design, and program their distinctly personal games in the hope that they, too, may find success.

After two years of painstaking work, designer Edmund McMillen and programmer Tommy Refenes await the release of their first major game for Xbox, Super Meat Boy--the adventures of a skinless boy in search of his girlfriend, who is made of bandages. At PAX, a major video-game expo, developer Phil Fish unveils his highly anticipated, four-years-in-the-making Fez. Jonathan Blow considers beginning a new game after creating Braid, one of the highest-rated games of all time.

First-time filmmaking duo Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky capture the emotional journey of these meticulously obsessive artists who devote their lives to their interactive art. Four developers, three games, and one ultimate goal-- to express oneself through a video game.

Director's Statement

In a world where the majority of video game titles are made by hundreds of people with hundred of million dollars, there is an community of video game designers doing it in a different way.

INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE is about the underdogs of the video game world: the independent game developers. These developers make games with small teams on modest budgets. They sacrifice money, health, and sanity to make these works - games that, to them, are a deep form of personal expression.

Over a span of years, these developers toil on their games in their bedrooms and apartments. But, they are not totally alone. Through this new connected era, they can speak to millions of people through the Internet, and through digital distribution, they can potentially make millions of dollars. All this - the fans, the money, the personal exposure - can make the game-making process a pressure cooker of anxiety.

INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE is about what it's like to create in a digital age. What it's like to create under the Internet microscope. How it feels to put yourself out there and expose yourself to the real-time social media feedback.

Like any artist, there's personal risk in releasing your work. You've invested so much time and love. There's a hope that people will understand what you did, and a fear of people not getting what you were trying to say. We think, we were able to capture that universal emotional experience through following the developers in the film.

-- Lisanne Pajot & James Swirsky, Directors

About the Production

INDIE GAME: THE MOVIE was created by two people, James Swirsky and Lisanne Pajot, from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. They have been working on the project for over a year, gathering stories from indie game developers all over North America. They have done all the producing, directing, cinematography, editing, and writing for the feature film and the website. Throughout the production, James & Lisanne faithfully blogged and tweeted the project's every move - producing & releasing over 88 minutes of bonus video content, 70+ blog posts and well over 5,000 tweets.