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40 Exquisite Independent Film Posters

An independent film, traditionally speaking, is generally referred to as a movie created entirely outside the traditional Hollywood system. It is usually the kind of production where the actors double up as camera men, friends and family provide the bankroll and the director’s mom is in charge of craft services.

Over the last few years, however, the “indie” film has taken on a whole new face. Large productions houses have formed specialty divisions that focus exclusively on “limited run” titles. These are movies that may not have the broad appeal of a summer blockbuster, but still enough demand worth releasing in a limited capacity – often to critical acclaim.

Of course with a limited run comes a limited budget. Luxuries such as wide-spread marketing campaigns are slim-to-none for the indie gem. It is for this reason that poster art plays an particularly significant role in an independent film’s marketing strategy.

Like the movies themselves, poster art for independent films can be especially beautiful and most certainly stand out from the crowd. These posters are imaginative and thoughtful while not forgetting the fundamentals such as color and typography. The result is more often than not an eye catching work of art that sparks your interest and curiosity – which is exactly what it’s supposed to do.

It is in tribute these wonderful works of art that Smashing Magazine has collected 40 Exquisite Independent Film Posters for your enjoyment. We hope they are as inspiring to you as they are to us.

40 Exquisite Independent Film Posters Link

Zoo (2007)1


Paris, Je T’aime (2006)3


Primer (2004)5


Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)7


Machinist (2004)9


Funny Games (2007)11


Brick (2005)13


Birds Of America (2008)15


Paranoid Park (2007)17


The Descent (2005)19


Son of Rambow (2007)21


Bug (2006)23


Half Nelson (2006)25


The Proposition (2005)27


Eagle vs Shark (2007)29


The Science of Sleep (2006)31


Lost in Translation (2003)33


The Cooler (2003)35


Red Road (2006)37


Dancer In The Dark (2000)39


Whale Rider (2002)41


The Savages (2007)43


The Walker (2007)45


Broken Flowers (2005)47


Being John Malkovich (1999)49


Transamerica (2005)51


Junebug (2005)53


Akeelah and the Bee (2006)55


Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007)57


Grizzly Man (2005)59


My Blueberry Nights (2007)61


Tideland (2005)63


Sideways (2004)65


Requiem For a Dream (2000)67


The Squid and the Whale (2005)69


The Motel (2005)71


The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)73


Lars and the Real Girl (2007)75


Hard Candy (2005)77


References Link

You may want to take a look at the following related articles:

  • 20 Amazing Movie Posters

Footnotes Link

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Andrew Lindstrom is a freelance web designer, blogger and inspiration junkie. Say hi to him on Twitter or read his ramblings on his design inspiration blog at

  1. 1

    Nice. Love it! Since I am newly introduced to the design world this site has been a breath of fresh air in helping me not be so overwhelmed….Thanks!

  2. 2

    The Motel poster is nice. Never thought something like that would look good for a poster. Great compilation btw

  3. 3

    More lovely inspiration! These are my favorite posts from you guys.

  4. 4

    Love it! Love ’em all. Great collection of posters and creativity.

  5. 5

    Great stuff. Not really webdesign related, but always nice to get some extra inspiration!

  6. 6

    Love them all. The Motel and Broken Flowers are favourite, Broken Flowers especially since it doesn’t look like a traditional movie poster. But why did you use that version of the Being John Malkovich poster? The mask one is much better.

  7. 7

    Nice collection but it seemed more devoted to well known independent films (with a slight Bill Murray fetish) rather than well designed posters.

  8. 8

    I really don’t see the exquisite in most of these posters.

    Come on Smashing Magazine, Once you get a decent fanbase of strong rss readers doesn’t mean you can get lazy and make articles like this. I would of preferred 30 or even 15 well researched and exquisite posters rather then 40 which seem random with no thought into what makes them exquisite.

  9. 9

    Define “independent film”because “Son of Rambow” is produced by a huge media company. Nice posters though.

    • 10

      truly! most of these films have big-name actors and huge budgets. i don’t believe this qualifies as “indie.”

  10. 11

    Glad and really surprised to “Taxi to the Dark Side (2007)” given its due recognition it deserves. Well done smashing Magazine! Hopefully the publisher will get their acts together and so finally we can see it in our local high street soon.

  11. 12

    To much bloat! Some of these are average at best.

  12. 13

    Exquisite, beautiful, excellent, you guys love your thesaurus.

  13. 14

    Stunning article!

  14. 15

    Exquisite …? Not really …. Only few are impressive.

  15. 16

    Claire Giordano

    November 19, 2008 11:09 pm

    My favorite is the poster for The Proposition. The most disturbing is the poster for The Zoo. And the poster for Sideways is gorgeous. Hmmm, they’re all great. Thanks.

  16. 17

    I like most of the posters which are shown here, e.g. Paris je t’ aime, Bug, The Machinist, Broken Flowers, … where can one buy them? Would be nice to have the one in my flat.

  17. 18

    I love independent movies, but most of the posters are poor copies. E.g. The Descent is a copy of the Philippe Halsman and Salvador Dalí Project called The Skull.

    Hm, maybe i sould write an article about that…

  18. 19

    Honestly these are a very poor and undistinguished selection of posters (with the exception of ‘Birds of America’ and a couple of others). Maybe you can point us to what you thought was special about each of them?

  19. 20

    Ahhh, some of these are really “exquisite” but some are not. That is the beauty of opinion and of course, the subjectivity of art in and of itself.

    Smashing Magazine is a great resource and has some wonderful collections of stuff, images, ideas and what-not. I don’t like them all. Entitled as we all are to our opinions about whether this is a good article or not it seems a little churlish to make a point of criticising the editors of this blog for doing something “you” don’t like or think worthy of your time.

    Some articles I like, some I don’t but why bad-mouth an article like this – why not move and leave it alone?

    Meh – there is a delicious irony in my comments I think…moving on….

    @15 (Claire) I find myself in agreement with your choices :)

  20. 21

    This kind of post seems to split opinion every time you publish one. I originally subscribed to Smashing Mag because it was a great resource for web developers, with thoroughly researched and well written technical or design related posts, and I must say I think that you still do that very well.

    But now it seems like these posts are becoming overshadowed by the 50 most stunning/beautiful/inspiring/… photos/posters/album covers/cereal boxes… posts. Personally, I’m very interested in photography, but I think there are other blogs out there which do this kind of thing better. But I appreciate that a lot of your readers love this kind of thing…

    Have you considered publishing two or more feeds to keep these things separate. That way your readers could choose to subscribe to the one that most interested them, or to several posts if their interests spanned more than one subject area.

    That way you might avoid all the negative posts that dominate the comments after every article.


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