As the independent movie world returns to Santa Monica for the 2022 American Film Market (Nov. 1-6) this week, it is with the air of a surgeon checking out a long-ailing parent. The cinema business, suspended on life support for the past two years due to COVID restrictions, is still far from healthy. 

Studio blockbusters — the Top Guns, Minions and superhero tentpoles of this world — have done great since theaters reopened, but the market for art house and indie
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