5 items from 2010
It's an honor to have your movie play at the Sundance Film Festival. It's a thrill when it not only plays but plays to great critical and popular acclaim. It's a dream come true when you meet with studio representatives to discuss theatrical distribution. And it's a bitter, soul-crushing disappointment when the deals don't pan out and the film is never heard from again.
That's what happened to Robert Bella's Colin Fitz, a 1997 Sundance hit that won praise from critics as diverse as Roger Ebert and Harry Knowles. The film, a comedy about a dead rock star's devoted fans, looked like it would be the next Sundance Cinderella story. But while distributors were interested, none could offer Bella a sale price that would actually cover what it had cost him -- and his creditors -- to make it. So the film sat in a storage unit while Bella worked »
- Eric D. Snider
The legendary indie film “Colin Fitz Lives!” about two bumbling security guards posted at the grave of Colin Fitz, a dead rock star with fans obsessive enough to make Justin Bieber blush will finally get a proper release.
What, never heard of it? Indie film buffs certainly have. Way back in 1997 this low-budget comedy with relatively big names like William H. Macy, Martha Plimpton and John C. McGinley anchoring the cast enjoyed a lot of buzz at Sundance and was considered a lock to get a high dollar distribution deal.
But that never happened.
Director Robert Bella was offered plenty of distribution deals, but he had sunk $50,000 of his own money into the project, was able to raise $100,000 more and maxed out 20 credit cards to render a 35mm print for screenings at Sundance. This ambition left him saddled with a $250,000 debt, which he quickly realized would not be covered by any of his offers, »
- Eric M. Armstrong
Director Robert Bella went thousands of dollars into debt to get his debut film Colin Fitz, an absurdist comedy about a dead rock legend starring William H. Macy, into Sundance in 1997. He then spent the next 13 years getting himself and the film--which earned good reviews--out of hock. At one low point, when he got sick of sleeping on friends' couches, he moved into his own storage space. Now that Bella, a successful post-production supervisor, owns all the bits and pieces of his film, IFC Films is finally releasing the retitled Colin Fitz Lives!--on VOD on August 4 via Sundance Selects. Bella will happily attend the La premiere (complete with Q & A with Macy) on August 5 at the Cinematheque (tickets here). Bella tells his own riveting story at indieWIRE and Kcrw's The Business. The trailer is below. »
In 1997, Sundance Film Festival Director Geoffrey Gilmore wrote, "'Colin Fitz' is the kind of independent filmmaking that shows how much can be done with very little and underscores the endearing qualities of well-written dialogue and comic inspiration." The movie’s been called by the press and its fans, “The Best Film Never Released.” So - what happened? Filmmaker Robert Bella offers a first person perspective on "Colin Fitz," a film that »
Sundance Selects has picked up comedy "Colin Fitz Lives!" which will find release on VOD in August. William H. Macy, Martha Plimpton, John C. McGinley, Matt McGrath and Mary McCormack star. Robert Bella directs "Fitz" which screened at 1997's Sundance Film Festival. Since then, the film has seen festivals including the Austin Film Festival, where it took top feature prize. Tom Morrissey-written story tells of two security guards who are hired to watch over the grave of a dead rock legend. Sundance Selects will send out a new cut of "Fitz" with unseen footage and new music recordings. »
5 items from 2010
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