Brett Haley’s Indie Gem ‘The New Year’ Finally Gets Distribution

By  · Published on May 23rd, 2012

In the world of the blockbuster and the $100m opening weekend, solid independent films are often left out in the cold. Too often, truly indie efforts don’t get the love, respect, and admiration deserve – and that’s mainly because they don’t get the release they deserve. While the apparent frenzy of buying that happens at every big film festival would make it seem as if every good film (and, let’s face it, some really bad ones) get picked up and set for release before their festival screenings are even over, that’s really not the case.

Case in point, Brett Haley’s The New Year. The filmmaker’s feature debut was an Official Selection at the 2010 Los Angeles Film Festival and was the 2010 Sarasota Film Festival Audience Award Winner, a charming slice of life drama about expectations and dreams unmet and unfulfilled. Yet, since premiering in 2010, the film has yet to be released, despite very much deserving to get in front of a lot of indie-loving eyeballs. Fortunately, that’s changed!

GoDigital eventually picked up the film and, as of yesterday, it was available for rental via iTunes. The film was one of our own Allison Loring’s favorites from LAFF 2010 (and you can read bit more as to why that’s so if you care to peruse her review over at former outlet, Gordon and the Whale), and it’s continued to stick with both of us since we saw it nearly two years ago. Allison described the film as being “charming and full of heart, while still being incredibly self-aware” and she specifically pointed to Trieste Kelly Dunn’s work, saying that she turns in “an amazing performance in her portrayal of Sunny, which on the surface seems effortless, but reveals itself to be layered and captivating.”

But, moreover, it’s the exact type of film that you expect (and hope) to find at film festivals. While the festival climate has changed significantly in recent years, with so much attention paid to big-name films from big-name directors and filled with big-name casts, there are absolutely new talents to discover at even the biggest festivals. That’s really why we go, and The New Year is a prime example of that.

You can rent The New Year at iTunes right now. Do it. Now. Right now!