Top 6 Free & Paid Apps to Stream Indie Films

These are our recommendations for the best free and paid apps to stream independent cinema

Play Video
Craig Hanks
YouTube Channel Manager & Streaming Expert
Read More
December 10, 2020
6 min read

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our disclosure policies to learn more.

If you love to stream indie films and you love art house cinema and international cinema, then this is the video for you. I'm going to show you a few apps you can use to stream free and paid indie films. We're going to get off the beaten path a little bit. I'm not going to talk about Netflix , Hulu, and Prime Video. Although, you can find some great stuff there as well. But, I'm going to show you six dedicated apps for those who love independent cinema. So, let's dive in.

All right, as we get started, I just want to remind you, we come out with videos like this all the time. So, if you enjoy what you see here, then give it a like, and definitely subscribe. We would appreciate it.

Now, as far as independent film stuff goes, I've got six apps to show you. Technically, it's seven, but we're going to go ahead and call it six. And I'll tell you why in just a moment. But the first ones that I'm going to show you are where you can go to stream indie films for free.

Follow us on YouTube!

If this video helps you, please hit those Like and Subscribe buttons.

And go on and smash that notification bell to get updates whenever we put out a new video.

Top free indie film streaming apps

The first free indie film streaming app is FilmRise Indie. This is a separate app. FilRise has all sorts of different categories. But, FilmRise Indie, they fall into a different film streaming app itself, FilmRise Indie. You can go download this one.

And when you go in here, this is going to be commercial-supported. So, if you're familiar with FilmRise, it's just like any other FilmRise that you've seen. But this one concentrates on independent cinema like Steven Seagal's The Patriot. “I guess it's going to be the hard way, you understand. Don't shoot, dammit. Don't shoot.”

All right. So, I mean, I'm kidding. Hey, I'm not judging if you love Steven Seagal movies. My only point is FilmRise is not going to be up to the standards that some film festival devotees are used to. But, they will have some good stuff in here. And like I said, the nice part is it is 100% free.

The second and third free indie film streaming apps are Kanopy and Hoopla. They both operate the same way. What these do is they tie your local library membership into the app. So, my local library goes through Kanopy, or at least it did. Here's the thing, I can go into Kanopy indie film streaming app, but my membership lapsed, because I haven't switched over to my new library system yet.

But the point is, when you get into the local library, Kanopy and Hoopla streaming apps are going to give you access to anything that you would have access to at your local library. They have it digitized and presented for you through these apps.

So, you would have to check and see which app your library goes through. It's generally going to be either Kanopy or Hoopla. They both do the same thing. And that's why I said it's seven apps technically. But yeah, we're really just talking about six.

So, I wish I could get in there and show you a little bit better, but I can at least go to their website and get a little shot there to show you what Kanopy free indie streaming app looks like. But that's generally what it is. So, those are your free options.

Best paid indie film streaming apps

Now, I'm going to move into the really, really great paid indie film streaming app options.

The Criterion Channel indie film streaming app. The Criterion Channel, this is the gold standard when it comes to independent film streaming apps. The Criterion Channel is amazing. It's like continuing education for film students, in a way. They've got a great collection of classics and international cinema.

And what they do with the Criterion collection of indie movies is they have Criterion additions of a lot of these movies. And so, you can go into the movie Boyhood, and it's not only going to give you the film itself, but it will also give you these little features that you can get alongside it.

It's kind of like DVD commentary tracks. And obviously, that's not something that you generally get when you're going through, say, Netflix or Hulu or something like that. Getting those behind the scenes in the commentary tracks is really fantastic. The Criterion collections are going to be a great way for you to get an education on whatever subject or director you want to.

So, if the Criterion Channel interests you, it's 11 bucks a month, or 99 bucks a year. So, a little bit of a discount there.

Moving onto MUBI indie film streaming app. This is a very interesting one. If you appreciate having content curated for you, this is the app for you, so long as you like independent cinema and classic cinema.

Basically what the MUBI indie film streaming app does is give you everyday MUBI's film experts, however we want to define that. They pick a new movie to put on their service and then you have 30 days to watch it. So, what that means is there are always 30 movies in MUBI's service.

So, if I click through the MUBI indie film streaming app ... Watch. I can go through the entire thing, just like that. That is what's on MUBI indie film streaming app. There are 30 films there. You can see, this one is leaving at midnight. This one is going to leave tomorrow. And then you can click through the rest.

Maybe you just like to watch a movie a day and you would really appreciate having some variety in your life and you don't have to choose, you don't have to go through the endless scroll on Netflix or whatever, to find what you want to watch. Let somebody else decide for you.

So, the way MUBI indie film streaming app works is you pay 11 bucks a month. Or, 96 bucks a year. And you get access to MUBI's indie film streaming collection. So, like I said, it's a little bit different way to take in your cinema, but a pretty effective one if that's your style.

So, those are, in my opinion, kind of the best of the best. Very different styles of how you're going to find stuff to watch between Criterion indie film streaming app and MUBI indie film streaming app.

Two more indie film streaming apps

But let's move on to the other two. I kind of put these in a category off to the side, simply because there isn't a lot to distinguish them from the rest. But that doesn't mean that they're not great.

First up is IndieFlix indie film streaming app. This is really straightforward. But they do give you some good categories to search through, art house films, dramas, comedies, classics, etc.

In fact, IndieFlix indie film streaming app also gives a little nod to a free to watch app, without a subscription. It’s not the best content that they have, but if you do want to pop in and just watch something, it is there for you. So, if IndieFlix indie film streaming app sounds like it might be up your alley, $69 a year for that one. Very straightforward pricing on that.

Let's go ahead and flip over to Fandor indie film streaming app. Fandor is kind of like IndieFlix. It's straightforward. There's nothing really distinguishing it like you get with the Criterion collection or MUBI.

You simply pay a price and you get access to the content. In this case, the price is either 10 bucks a month or 90 bucks a year. So, it is a little bit pricier for the annual plan than IndieFlix.

But I also like the way that they organize their content. You don't get the kind of Netflix categories where you see a ton of those horizontal categories. Instead, they put their categories right here, on one row, so you can go through and check out whichever one you want. Personally, I kind of like that form of categorization, but mostly that's probably just me. I don't know.

Anyway, there you go. Top six options for you to watch as much indie films and international films on indie film streaming apps as your heart could possibly desire.

I hope this video helped you out a little bit. If so, hit the subscribe button and the like button and all of that stuff. It helps out the channel, it helps my ego a lot, obviously. And I thank you very much for watching. We'll come back with more videos, much like this one, ways that you can stream whatever category of movie or TV that you could possibly want to. And I'll see you then.

Craig Hanks
Written by
Craig Hanks
Craig is a long-time writer, presenter, and podcaster, and he now runs the YouTube channel, where he strives to be far more charming and presentable than he is in real life. Within the umbrella, he has accidentally become a streaming expert after covering the streaming wars for almost three years. Craig is also the founder and host of The Legendarium Podcast, his outlet for his love of fantasy and sci-fi literature.

Related Articles

Colorful apartment buildings
Best Renter and Apartment Security Systems 2023
Want to secure your stuff while you rent? Read our review to find the best...
Best Cell Phone Deals February 2023
Here are the very best cell phone deals of the month, all in one place....
What Is a Smart Plug and How Does It Work
What Is a Smart Plug and How Does It Work?
Smart plugs help you automate devices you already own. Learn about the possibilities of smart...
7 Tips to Secure Your Basement Windows
These seven tips explain how to secure basement windows and window wells to create a...