There are plenty of places to stream Hollywood or trending movies, but what happens when you crave an independent film? Luckily for you, there are plenty of services to stream independent features, shorts, and documentaries.
Whether you’re a film nerd or just looking to fulfill your inner film critic, here’s a list of niche streaming services that cater to independent film.
MUBI offers a selection of curated cinema varying from cult classics to modern gems. As a subscriber, you will have access to a large selection of on-demand flicks and a community hub where fellow film lovers discuss alternative endings to movies and more. MUBI also runs a live channel that streams selected movies 24/7.
You can begin exploring MUBI with a 3-month trial for $1. It then costs $10.99/month after that.
SHUDDER is a great horror film streaming service. If you’re a fan of thrillers and the crimson, you will have a blast navigating SHUDDER’s endless options for thrillers, supernatural, and mystery films.
The service welcomes you to expand your love for terror past the big screen as it shines a light on horror-related podcasts, TV series, and documentaries. You can also enjoy SHUDDER originals like Scare Me, Leap of Faith, Creepshow, and more.
SHUDDER’s monthly subscription fee starts at $4.75/month, with a free 7-day trial period for new subscribers.
IndieFlix contains a great library of contemporary independent films. Subscribers can consume movies on-demand and from seasonal film festivals.
IndieFlix offers a yearly membership for $49.99 or a monthly subscription for $4.99. Seasonal passes for festivals hosted on the platform must be purchased separately and grant you access to featured screenings for a limited time.
The Film Detective is a streaming service dedicated to classic films. It’s a great site to browse if you’re curious about old Hollywood movies or looking to discover more about American cinema. The library offers films released across every decade in a wealth of genres like comedy, action, and adventure.
Best of all? It’s a completely free streaming service, though is supported by ads.
Kanopy is free with a library card. You can find what local libraries offer access to Kanopy through a quick search on the website. The film collection is well worth the trip to your local library as it features indie blockbusters like Moonlight, Lady Bird, The Florida Project, and much more.
The Criterion Channel offers a rich library of Hollywood classics and Criterion films. You will find classics like The Elephant Man and The Haunting, in addition to featured highlight videos on contemporary filmmakers.
You can try out The Criterion Channel with a 14-day free trial. After that, you can get a subscription for $10.99/month or $99.99/year.
Doscville is heaven on earth for documentary lovers. Docsville’s on-demand library offers a wide range of documentaries from all genres, periods, and languages. It features documentary pieces on various contemporary pop figures ranging from Louis Armstrong to Tupac.
There are also informational features regarding international politics, foreign history, and many more subjects bound to challenge any intellectual.
The cost of a membership for Docsville runs at $4.99/month.
The Internet Archive is a great internet resource for all types of free classic films, podcasts, and more. Feel free to explore the movie section, where you can find movie playlists full of Charlie Chaplin silents films or run into classics like Gone with The West and The Phantom of the Opera.
Festival Scope brings movie premieres from festivals to the web. If you’re an avid film festival goer but cannot manage to travel, this is the streaming site for you. You can purchase separate tickets to these festivals and stream movies on the site for a limited time after their premiere date.
Some previously featured festivals on Festival Scope include Locarno Film Festival, Istanbul Film Festival, Midnight Sun Film Festival, Japan Cuts NYC, San Diego Arab Film Festival, and DokuFest.
Fandor is a great place to explore underrated films. You’re likely to find forgotten films or discover movies featuring Hollywood actors before fame. You can also get access to editorial staff recommendations and weekly opinion articles about films, which makes Fandor an excellent hub for real film lovers looking to find movies you won’t find anywhere else.
A subscription for Fandor goes for $5.99/month or $49.99/year, after a free 2-week trial.
Believe it or not, Netflix has a streaming nook dedicated to independent films. It’s a great platform to rekindle with hidden gems from the early 2000s and other critically acclaimed indie films.
While you’re more likely to come across movies that feature well-known actors and upcoming directors as opposed to lesser-known projects, it’s still a great tool to break away from your average mainstream movie. Besides, you probably already have a Netflix subscription, so you don’t need to sign up to a new service.
Some popular indie films that have streamed on Netflix include Roma, Fruitvale Station, American Honey, and more. Netflix no longer offers a free trial in most countries, so you will need to pay for the $8.99 monthly subscription.
Which Independent Film Streaming Platform Is Worth the Subscription?
Like any streaming service, it is always best to choose your subscription based on whichever indie streaming platform best suits your viewing needs.
As a rule of thumb, ask yourself where you will be consuming your streaming and whether you can easily watch your subscription from your preferred device. Next, ask yourself what genres and time-periods interest you the most in cinema and compare that to the collection offered by the streaming services you are considering. Finally, consider your budget and decide what price range works for you.
Once you’ve done all that, you then need to decide which film it is that you want to watch!
The 11 Best Streaming Services for Fans of Independent Films