Up 8,942 this week

Reel Paradise (2005)

R  |   |  Documentary  |  January 2005 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.5/10 from 421 users   Metascore: 63/100
Reviews: 16 user | 39 critic | 22 from

Former indie film "guru" John Pierson takes his family to Fiji for one year to run the world's most remote movie theater.


Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

Family Entertainment Guide

Check out IMDb's comprehensive Family Entertainment Guide for recommendations for movies and TV series for every age and every viewing platform.

Visit our Family Entertainment Guide

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 31 titles
created 28 Jan 2011
a list of 30 titles
created 17 Mar 2011
a list of 68 titles
created 05 Aug 2013
a list of 178 titles
created 11 Oct 2013
a list of 38 titles
created 4 months ago

Related Items

Search for "Reel Paradise" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Reel Paradise (2005)

Reel Paradise (2005) on IMDb 6.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Reel Paradise.



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Now You Know (2002)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

On the eve of his bachelor party, a man learns his fiancee wants to call off the wedding. The unmarried couple returns to New Jersey to sort out their relationship.

Director: Jeff Anderson
Stars: Jeff Anderson, Suzette Andrea, Todd Babcock
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

An in-depth look about the controversy surrounding Kevin Smith's "Dogma", and the effects it had on those involved in its production.

Stars: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jason Lee
Hoop Dreams (1994)
Documentary | Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A film following the lives of two inner-city Chicago boys who struggle to become college basketball players on the road to going professional.

Director: Steve James
Stars: William Gates, Arthur Agee, Emma Gates
Hoop Reality (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Hoop Reality is the sequel to the 1994 documentary "Hoop Dreams" and explores what happened during the last decade from where "Hoop Dreams" left off. It follows the original basketball hero... See full summary »

Director: Lee Davis
Stars: Arthur Agee, Patrick Beverley, Lamont Bryant
Short | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Actor Jason Mewes and filmmaker Kevin Smith set out on a quest to hunt down a rare Star Wars figure, as way of distracting Jason from his drug withdrawals.

Director: Christopher Downie
Stars: Chris Bain, Elgin Bathgate, Git 'Em Steve Dave
Comedy | Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A young woman relay races across Canada with her boyfriend and another couple to bail her brother out of a marijuana charge.

Director: Malcolm Ingram
Stars: Jaimz Woolvett, Breckin Meyer, Jake Busey
Drawing Flies (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A young man, with the help of his unsuspecting roommates, hikes through the Canadian wilderness in search of Sasquatch.

Directors: Matthew Gissing, Malcolm Ingram
Stars: Jason Lee, Renée Humphrey, Jason Mewes
Documentary | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Greg O'Brien, long-time Cape Cod reporter and newspaperman, has been diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer's. Acting on instinct and journalistic grit, Greg has decided to face down the ... See full summary »

Director: Steve James
Stars: Greg O'Brien
Emo Kev (2013)
Short | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Before 'Clerks' there was only Emo Kev. A neurotic and paranoid Kevin Smith travels aimlessly around his home town of Highlands, recording his every thought with a tape recorder.

Director: Christopher Downie
Stars: Lewis Brameld, Julia Carstairs, Mark Frost
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Directors: Joey Figueroa, Zak Knutson
Stars: Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Scott Mosier
Gooper (Video 2013)
Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A comedic look at the world of 'Looper', initially intended to be an April Fools prank.

Director: Christopher Downie
Stars: Mark Frost
Hiatus (TV Movie 1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Man comes back to small home town after years of being away in California living a double life as a porn star. once back at home he decides to use the money he made to open a comic book ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Smith
Stars: Jason Lee


Credited cast:
Georgia Pierson ...
Wyatt Pierson ...


June, 2003. During the final month of their year-long stay in Fiji, indie-film gurus John and Janet Pierson and their two children host a documentary film crew. John's been showing free movies at the 288-seat 180 Meridian Cinema, in remote Natokalan Village on the island of Taveuni. Reality intrudes in paradise: their home is burgled, the local Catholic priest criticizes John's project, their daughter's behavior may be threatening the reputation of her friend, and John's prickly personality follows him. Against this backdrop, the Fijians laugh at the Three Stooges, Buster Keaton, and "Jackass: The Movie." John finishes the year with ten movies in ten days: do movies matter? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including sexual references, and brief crude humor


Official Sites:




Release Date:

January 2005 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,100 (USA) (19 August 2005)


$31,235 (USA) (13 January 2006)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


See  »

Did You Know?


John Pierson: Ok, so this is very important to you to get paid $311.28, it's very important for you to have this tomorrow, we sustained our second robbery in your house, tonight's robbery, I believe the total lost will come around fifteen-$10,000. Yeah, so I'll make sure you get your $311.28 tomorrow. I'LL MAKE FUCKING SURE OF IT!
See more »


Features Johnny English (2003) See more »


Stop Dreamin'
Written by Albert Spaulding, Casey Bridgeford and Sheronn Hooks
Performed by DaFilled
Courtesy of Adim Management
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

If you love movies, and movies about movies, you will love this film
5 November 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Exhibitionist – a review of Reel Paradise By Steve Fesenmaier Nov. 4, 2006 Since I started exhibiting films for a living in fall 1972, about a hundred people have told me that I should make a film about my amazing life, and write an autobiography. Most recently Ken Hechler told me that I should write a book – I am helping him write a book about a "Supermarine" and working with Russ Barbour on a two-hour film about him, "Ken Hechler – In Search of Justice." Since I write a weekly Graffiti column, and spend most of my free time showing films, or writing about them, or previewing them for one of the several film festivals I program including The WV Jewish Film Festival and The WV Filmmakers Film Festival, I really don't have time. But there is finally a film that in certain ways shows the peculiar life I have led for more than three decades – Steve James' film about American indie promoter John Pierson in "Reel Paradise." Pierson met his wife while working at Film Forum in NYC, working for Karen Cooper. Over the years he helped fund Spike Lee's first film, wrote the best book on contemporary American indie films, "Spike, Mike, Slackers and Dykes," and hosted a cable show," Split Screen." He has spent most of his adult life, as I have, showing films, and promoting them in various ways. He finally decided to take his wife and two teenage children as far from America as he could, finding the 180 Meridian (International Dateline, where the day officially changes) Cinema in the Fiji Islands, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Steve James, who made the sensational "Hoop Dreams" and "Stevie," both world-class biographical films, spent the last month on the island filming Pierson and the amazing life he was leading.

The highlights of the story include tracking down the thief who stole computers, passports, and other items from their home; the problems the two teenagers have living in such a primordial place, and the joys and defeats Pierson experiences while showing free, 35 mm., current films to such an isolated group of people. Films included "Jackass" (because his son suggested it) to "Bend It Like Beckham" to a Buster Keaton film. (He got married at Film Forum and screened a Buster Keaton film as part of his wedding ceremony. My wedding ceremony took place at the Dunbar Public Library after a New Orleans feast and several hours of Les Blank films with him serving as best man and visiting celebrity.) The most interesting part of the film is the brief discussion of the only opposition he faced on the island – from the missionary Catholic Church which also ran the "college" where his children attended school. They were against the "free" aspect of the films, thinking that it undermined their teaching that one has to work hard for everything. Pierson had to show the films free since few of the islanders could afford any admission fee.

I wondered why Pierson did not set up some kind of class on film-making at the local high school. I myself have always been involved with young would-be filmmakers, serving on the national board of a group, Cinema Six, whose board included Dr. Wayne Dyer and people at Lucasfilm. Locally, I have been on the board of the local communications dept. at WVSU, the only college in the state with a film school type program, and co-founded the WV International Film Festival, which has an annual student film competition. Perhaps Pierson didn't want to formalize his film program that would discourage adults, etc. from attending.

He was overjoyed introducing and watching the audience, mainly children laugh out loud with joy at the films. I certainly can identify with this feeling since I myself have enjoyed it since 1972, introducing the world's greatest films and filmmakers in person from 1972-78, and here in West Virginia, bringing many of my friends including Les Blank twice here, and many others including William Sloan from MOMA (who has a real MLS in library science and founded the NYPL film program), Linda Duchin from New Yorker Films, Dennis Doros from Milestone Films, Mitchell Block from Direct Cinema, John Hoskyns-Abrahall from Bullfrog Films, Mimi Pickering from Appalshop, and a hundred more.

I don't know how interesting the average film-goer would find this film. Likewise for other recent films about movies like "Cinemania," about NYC film fanatics who live for "competitive movie watching. " I recently saw a great film, "Ticket to Jerusalem" about a Palestinian film exhibitor who loved to show films to children in his house, and even better was "Mine Cine Tupy," a short documentary about a Latin American man who literally created a film theater for children out of parts he found on the street or junkyards. Recently a great documentary on perhaps the single greatest film exhibitor of all time, Henri Langlois, was released – "Phantom of the Cinematheque." I recall a film from Australian, "The Picture Show Man," that chronicled the life of an early 1930s era traveling film exhibitor through the Bush. "A Very Curious Girl," a hit French New Wave film, uses a local cine club as the focus of its portrait of a young girl growing up in France in the 1960s.

Since we have more than a century of movies, and people still love them despite the reality of YouTube and the entire web-movie mania sweeping the world, you may find this film worthwhile. If you enjoyed films like Les Blank's "Burden of Dreams" and "Heart of Darkness" about the making of Coppola's "Apocalypse Now," you would enjoy this film.

3 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
how NOT to be parents df_az
What happened to Georgia? Rogozhin
Need info on a scene I missed batgirl731
So the little bitch daughter drlyon
worth it for the landlord scenes alone mcgones
Discuss Reel Paradise (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page