In November 2015, digital production studio Indigenous Media and Hunger Games co-star Josh Hutcherson announced an incubator project that would take scripts provided by Hollywood’s Black List and turn them into digital shorts. At the Tribeca Film Festival, Indigenous co-founder Jake Avnet and Hutcherson provided an update on their incubator. They have now found the five scripts they will adapt, and production on at least one of those projects will begin in May, with an expected summertime release.
Indigenous is planning to distribute its incubated short films on digital platforms, and it is therefore focusing on concepts that will appeal to millennial viewers. At Tribeca, Avnet and Hutcherson revealed two of their five planned projects, and both feature twentysomething characters who must overcome personal strife. Hutcherson will direct Ape, which will focus on a young man who is battling schizophrenia, while Brad Martocello, who also appeared on the Tribeca panel, will helm Boy in a Backpack, whose protagonist uses his disabled brother to run a triathlon-related scam. Those two dramas will be joined by a pair of comedies and a project Avnet describes as “grounded sci-fi.’
The five short films will first be released digitally, but Indigenous wants turn the ones that generate the most buzz into larger productions. Hutcherson and Martocello cited Whiplash and Short Term 12 as critically-acclaimed features that started as short films, and they hope their projects with take a similar path. “Our goal is to make as many features as we can,” said Hutcherson.
Avnet did not reveal many details about Indigenous’ distribution plans for its incubated shorts, but the studio does appear to have a specific partner in mind. “We’re going to be aligned with an interesting distribution platform that’s going to make these be seen in an interesting way,” Avnet said. “They’re really good,” added Hutcherson.
The release details for the five upcoming projects are slightly less hazy. The goal, according to Hutcherson, is to wrap production in June and set a release date sometime in the summer. Avnet said the five projects are likely to be released at the same time.
Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Creative Commons