Topher Grace, star of the Tribeca Film Festival hit The Giant Mechanical Man, makes a distinction between "real" independent films and those with budgets so large they might as well go by another name. The Giant Mechanical Man, Grace says, belongs in the former category — not just because it was made on a dime but, more importantly, because of its tone.

"I thought the tone of the film was the kind of tone that I’ve always loved, that [belongs to] real independent films," Grace said in our exclusive interview, along with co-stars Malin Ackerman and Richard Sommer. "This is a very independent film that has the tone necessary to convey what these characters are really thinking and feeling that normal studio films wouldn’t allow."

Grace added that he thinks quality, independent filmmaking is much rarer now than it was just over a decade ago. "Independent cinema is more precious now than it’s kind of ever been," he said. "There was huge surge when I was growing up in the '90s and even now there are some independent films that come out that have 20 million dollar budgets." Grace explained that The Giant Mechanical Man "couldn’t exist outside this kind of petri dish" of low-budget, heartfelt filmmaking.

For her part, Ackerman said she believed that the film sends a message about the value of uniqueness and acceptance in place of bald conformity. "One thing that I really like about it is the fact that Chris Messina’s character is this Giant Mechanical Man and he’s not willing to give that up cause he really believes in it and that’s his creative outlet and that’s who he is and that’s what he loves," she said. "You can find someone who appreciates what you do instead of trying to conform and become what society wants you to become."

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REVIEW: The Giant Mechanical Man

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