Movies for Free

New film initiative helps revive indie movie theaters in San Antonio and beyond

New initiative helps indie movie theaters in San Antonio and beyond

Boyhood Richard Linklater
Boyhood will be one of the films available to theaters as part of IFC Films' Indie Theater Revival Project. Photo by Matt Lankes/IFC Films

Like every other industry, the movie business has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, including movie theaters that have been forced to shut down. To help out independent theaters when they're allowed to reopen, IFC Films has launched “The Indie Theater Revival Project,” an initiative that will offer films from its catalog to the theaters with no rental fee.

The company has put together 20 curated retrospective programs, featuring approximately 200 films spanning the studio's 20-year history. The programs will be available to cinemas across the United States, including local ones like Santikos Entertainment, starting May 29.

Movie theaters are typically required to pay a rental fee to studios in order to show any particular film. Offering the films to the theaters for free will allow the theaters to keep the profits from ticket sales, as well as the usual profits from concession sales.

The programs will have themes like Greatest Hits: Indie Blockbusters from IFC Films, which includes BoyhoodY Tu Mama TambienFrances Ha, and more; Yes We Cannes!, which includes Palme d’or (Best Film) winners like Blue is the Warmest Color and I, Daniel Blake; and Cult Icons, which includes The BabadookThe Human Centipede, and more.

Theaters will be allowed to book any number of the retrospective programs, in part or in total, any time through the first month after a theater reopens, whether that's on May 29 or any time after that. Theaters can sign up for the project and get more information at

“Independent theaters across the country have been essential partners for us at IFC Films, and we would not be where we are today without their support,” the company announced in a statement. “We wanted to take the first step and let theaters know that we are committed to helping them reopen their doors by providing a selection of films to program while the new release landscape gets back to normal.”