One of the most talked-about films at the Sundance Film Festival back in February was “Catfish,” a documentary that follows a young man and the complicated relationship he developed with an 8-year old girl and her family over Facebook. The film apparently takes about a dozen unexpected twists and turns. I can tell you, from this trailer, I am seriously intrigued; what in the world happens in this movie that merits even a passing reference to Hitchcock? Looks to be released in mid-September.
And here’s a fascinating story that I just had to pass along. In 1996, first-time filmmaker Robert Bella slapped together “Colin Fitz Lives!”, a comedy about two security guards hired to protect the grave of fictional rock idol Colin Fitz, from conception to completion in about 6 months. Bella somehow procured a fair number of familiar faces on his tight indie budget (William H. Macy, Mary McCormack, “Scrubs” fave John C. McGinley), but ended up maxing out 20 credit cards to get the thing made.
In what was apparently a godsend for the now-financially-hard-pressed Bella, the film was a smash hit at Sundance, and numerous distribution offers quickly followed. Unfortunately for Bella, NONE of the offers ended up covering the cost of completing the film; $100,000 in debt, Bella couldn’t accept any of the deals. Over the years, the film turned into something of an indie scene legend, a cult classic that only a lucky few had ever actually witnessed.
Well, Bella finally paid off his debt after 8 years, allowing him to take an offer from IFC Films to release “Colin Fitz Lives!” through Video on Demand. So, this fall, check out your cable company’s VOD selection; there might just be a long-forgotten indie gem finally getting its due.