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Docs on the Spot


HOT SPOT FOR DOCS: Docu Festivals Calling / Ones to  watch / Docu Fests Highlights


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SAVING BRINTON documentary feature to screen at DOC NYC

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I'd love to put the outstanding documentary feature SAVING BRINTON on your radar for DOC NYC. This film was among the most buzzed-about films at AFI DOCS earlier this year. Here's the film's trailer: 

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SAVING BRINTON HAS NEW YORK CITY PREMIERE AT DOC NYC ON NOVEMBER 13 & 14

A JOURNEY TO DISCOVER AMERICA'S CINEMATIC TREASURES – THE FIRST SHOWREELS THAT INTRODUCED SMALL TOWN AMERICA TO THE MOVIES

HEADS-UP – THEATRICAL RELEASE: SPRING 2018

Logline: When an eccentric collector discovers the showreels of the man who brought the moving picture to the Heartland, he begins a journey to restore the legacy of America’s greatest barnstorming movie man and save these irreplaceable cinematic treasures from turning to dust.

A film by Tommy Haines, John Richard, Andrew Sherburne

MUST-SEE TRAILER: 

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DOC NYC SCREENINGS
• Monday, November 13 at 5:00 PM – Cinépolis Chelsea
• Tuesday, November 14 at 10:30 AM – IFC Center
Filmmakers & Film Subject In-Person at Both Screenings!
http://www.docnyc.net/film/saving-brinton/

ATTN. CINEPHILES: The screenings of SAVING BRINTON are presented at DOC NYC with an additional 10-minute package of silent films from the collection with live narration by film subject Michael Zahs. Included among the shorts are films by Edison and the Lumière brothers as well as a rediscovered "lost film" from 1904 by George Méliés that premiered in October 2017 at the prestigious Pordenone Silent Film Festival.

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Recent Press Attention

"In Mr. Zahs, Messrs. Haines, Richard and Sherburne have found one of the most unlikely, yet most likeable, heroes of contemporary nonfiction cinema."
- THE WASHINGTON TIMES

"One man, Michael Zahs, has become Brinton’s unofficial historian, and this film follows his struggles to showcase his collection before it literally collapses into dust."
- THE WASHINGTON POST

"ENCHANTING. It’s clear throughout Saving Brinton that Zahs’ love for the Brinton collection is surpassed only by his love for family and community."
- SMITHSONIAN

"STUNNING. In a throwaway culture, Zahs is history’s loving caretaker, whether it’s his mother, rare films or the family farm."
- DES MOINES REGISTER

"This wonderful documentary...provides an impressive glimpse of what was then a newfangled spectacle. But as the title suggests, the real subject of this film is the quest, and its quixotic dreamer, the endearing Michael Zahs. This ode to film preservation is a must-see."
—DCIST

"Don't miss...a must see for the cinephile. Celebrates the unsung persons who introduced the magic of cinema to audiences around the world."
—THE SPRINGS

"If you screen it, they will come. It’s not movie heaven, it’s Iowa."
— WTOP RADIO (CBS)

Synopsis

In a farmhouse basement on the Iowa countryside, eccentric collector Mike Zahs makes a remarkable discovery: the showreels of the man who brought the moving picture to America’s Heartland. Among the treasures: rare footage of President Teddy Roosevelt, the first moving images from Burma, a lost relic from magical effects godfather Georges Méliés. These are the films that introduced movies to the world. And they didn’t end up in Iowa by accident.

Amid the old nitrate reels are the artifacts of William Franklin Brinton. From thousands of trinkets, handwritten journals, receipts, posters and catalogs emerges the story of an inventive farmboy who became America’s greatest barnstorming movieman. 

As Mike uncovers this hidden legacy, he begins a journey restore the Brinton name and return the films to big screen glory in the same small-town movie theater where Frank first turned on a projector over a century ago.

By uniting community through a pride in their living history Mike embodies a welcome antidote to the breakneck pace of our disposable society. "Saving Brinton" is a portrait of this unlikely Midwestern folk hero, at once a meditation on living simply and a celebration of dreaming big.

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Filmmaker Statement

Flyover country. That simple phrase which so casually dismisses the people and culture of middle America. Sure, there are pigs, and corn—lots of it!—but our Midwestern modesty belies a rich history and a vibrant present. And it may then come as a surprise that the world's oldest operating movie theater, and the showreels that first lit that silver screen, reside in Washington, Iowa. This amazing history, and Mike Zahs, the man who will not let it be forgotten, are the story of Saving Brinton. Saving Brinton is a patient portrait of a man, a community and a history seldom celebrated on the big screen. As Midwestern filmmakers, we’re excited to show what’s buried beneath that blanket of corn seen from a passing plane. The Heartland is alive and Mike Zahs is its champion. 


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Credits

A film by Tommy Haines, John Richard, Andrew Sherburne
Directed by Tommy Haines, Andrew Sherburne
Produced by Andrew Sherburne
Cinematography by John Richard
Edited by Tommy Haines, John Richard
Original Score by Michael Kramer
 

 

 

 

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