13 May, 2009

friends pimping, part 4: queue up some indie film goodness

The upside to a small independent film is it's made without dealing with studio red tape, there's more room for creativity, and there can be a community feeling surrounding the shoot. The downside to a small independent film is it can be hard to get others to see it without a lot of hard work, perseverance and word-of-mouth. Here’s an example of one of those films getting a fighting chance.

In the summer of 2008, Illegal Use of Joe Zopp premiered in Chippewa Falls, WI, where most of it had been filmed. The town went all out with a red carpet party and a full run at a local theater. Made by Wut Wut Alma Productions, Zopp is a comedic mystery (mysterious comedy?) about a young man who returns to his hometown after many years once learning everyone thinks he's dead. He is not. But that's only the start of things. Both past and new acquaintances play roles in solving this puzzle.

Zopp has been screened at several film festivals over the last nine months to much positive response (including a beyond sold-out screening April 3 at the Wisconsin Film Festival), and Wisconsin Public Television will be airing it June 6 as part of their "Director’s Cut" series. But if you can't pick up a Madison station on your rabbit ears, have no fear! Netflix is now offering Illegal Use of Joe Zopp for online rental!

Why am I plugging this film? Because it's a fun time, and I really do believe it deserves a shot with a wider audience. Also, everyone I’ve met from Wut Wut Alma is seriously as nice as they come. Good guys deserve to finish first once in a while, right? Right.

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