Indies Under Fire - Onscreen

New documentary film about independent bookstores and their battles to survive

In the span of just a decade, over half of the nation's independent bookstores vanished. This revealing documentary tells the stories of three such stores fighting for survival. In Capitola, California, a developer's plans to bring Borders to town prompts a fierce debate over the rights of "big box" retailers to locate in a place famous for its small town charm. In Palo Alto, news of the closing of Printers Inc. Bookstore prompts a local citizen to mortgage his house to try to save it. And in Santa Cruz, when a Borders moves in down the street from the town's oldest bookstore, protests and vandalism ensue. This compelling hour-long film follows these stories and raises tough questions about the place of local culture in an increasingly homogenized world.

Director Jacob Bricca grew up in Palo Alto, California, and spent much of his youth hanging out at Printers Inc. bookstore. When the owners announced its impending closure in late 1998, he grabbed his video camera and started shooting. Indies Under Fire is the result of six years of research and filming, and is the first documentary to look in depth at the issues surrounding the growth of "super-chain" bookstores.
Jacob is also a professional film editor and teacher. His editing credits include Lost in La Mancha (2002), Jimmy Scott: If You Only Knew (2003) and the recently released Tell Me Do You Miss Me (2006). He teaches filmmaking at Wesleyan University, where he is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Film Studies.