Saying that the Sundance Film Festival changed the way stars, directors, Hollywood and moviegoers thought about movies, CNN cited the "rise of the indies" as the top pop culture moment of the past 25 years on its "hit list" show with Entertainment Weekly (a major fest sponsor). Filmmaker Kevin Smith recognized "Pulp Fiction and the Weinsteins (who have also embraced Smith throughout his career) as "kicking the door open for people like myself."
Posing but never answering the question "has independent film gone Hollywood," the message sent by the program was in fact a clear yes. No shock there, the program pushed the idea that "independent spirit is alive and well," paying lip service to filmmakers who make low-budget movies on video today, but never exploring the new generation of such directors, instead asking Kevin about the importance of "indie" films for actors today. He added that its "great for emerging actors" and for those who "want to recharge their batteries." Smith concluded:
Indie film isnt going anywhere, as long as there is somebody looking at Hollywood going 'ugh, i dont want to watch any of this anymore', there will be somebody out there who wants to make their own movie that speaks to a smaller, but distinct audience.