Superheroes (2011) - News Poster



13 Independent Films Digital Debut via Sundance Institute’s Artist Services

The Sundance Institute has 13 independent films available through a variety of platforms to rent, download or stream via the Institute’s Artist Services program. Titles include 2012 Sundance Film Festival films Detropia, I Am Not a Hipster, The Atomic States of America, and We’re Not Broke. For full details on where to access these films, please visit (The complete list of new titles available follows below.)

“With the proliferation of new digital outlets these days, Sundance Institute saw a real need to help filmmakers and producers easily access these platforms and to provide information on how best to navigate and take advantage of independent distribution,” said Keri Putnam, Executive Director, Sundance Institute. “ It's exciting to see these filmmakers charting their own path towards finding audiences.”

In addition, to making it easier for audiences to find Sundance Institute and Film Festival films all year long, this year’s online film guide and mobile app for the 2013 Sundance Film Festival includes a new feature from which creates a universal ‘queue’ so fans can be notified as soon as films they are interested in become available in the marketplace. Sundance Institute has also installed GoWatchIt on the Now Playing page ( for the titles accessing distribution through its Artist Services.

Look for the Artist Services films on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Hulu, Microsoft Xbox, Netflix, SnagFilms, Sony Entertainment Network, SundanceNOW, Vudu and YouTube. Special bonus video content from the Institute’s archives is available for select titles. The Artist Services program provides Institute artists with exclusive opportunities for creative self-distribution, marketing and financing solutions for their work. New Video, a Cinedigm company, is the exclusive aggregation partner for distribution across all portals in the program. The Artist Services initiative is made possible by The Bertha Foundation. These deals were brokered via pro bono legal services generously provided by law firm O’Melveny & Myers, which has built the legal framework for the Artist Services program and participating filmmakers since its inception.

Titles That Are Available:

The American Astronaut (Director and Screenwriter: Cory McAbee) — Sundance Institute Screenwriter’s Lab Fellow Cory McAbee stars in his sci-fi feature film as an interplanetary trader. The film also stars 2012 Independent Spirit Award nominee James Ransone (Starlet, HBO’s Treme and The Wire) as Bodysuit. (2001 Sundance Film Festival)

The Atomic States of America (Directors: Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce) — Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce’s provocative documentary takes viewers on a journey to nuclear reactor communities across the country. (2012 Sundance Film Festival)

Budrus (Director: Julia Bachas) — Documentary filmmaker Julia Bacha’s award-winning 2009 documentary follows a Palestinian community organizer who unites local Fatah and Hamas members along with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save the village of Budrus from destruction by Israel's Separation Barrier. Budrus was produced by Just Vision, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing the power and legitimacy of Palestinians and Israelis working nonviolently to end the occupation and resolve the conflict. (2009 Sundance Documentary Film Grant)

Detropia (Directors: Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady) — Winner of the Best Documentary Editing Award at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and nominated for Gotham and Cinema Eye awards, Detropiachronicles the lives of several Detroiters trying to survive and make sense of what is happening to their city – once an industrial utopia, now on the brink of bankruptcy. (2012 Sundance Documentary Film Grant, 2012 Sundance Film Festival)

High School Record (Director and Screenwriter: Ben Wolfinsohn) — In Ben Wolfinsohn’s semi-improvised 2005 “mock doc,” four exceptionally awkward 17-year-olds struggle through their senior year as moments of humiliation and triumph are caught on tape in a documentary shot by fellow classmates at a performing arts high school. (2005 Sundance Film Festival)

I Am Not A Hipster (Director and Screenwriter: Destin Daniel Cretton) — Featuring music by indie electronic band, Canines, and a break-out performance by Dominic Bogart (Flash Forward), Cretton’s music-focused drama premiered at sold-out screenings at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. (2011 and 2012 Cinereach Project at Sundance Institute Grant, 2012 Sundance Film Festival)

Primer (Director and Screenwriter: Shane Carruth) — Shane Carruth’s cult classic won the Grand Jury Prize and Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. Timed to the premiere of the director’s much-anticipated follow-up film, Upstream Color, at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. (2004 Sundance Film Festival)

Pursuit of Loneliness (Director and Screenwriter: Laurence Thrush) — Award-winning director Laurence Thrush’s (Left Handed) 2012 Sundance Film Festival premiere stars a cast of non-professional actors depicted in their own workplace roles. (2012 Sundance Film Festival)

The Slaughter Rule (Directors: Alex Smith and Andrew Smith) — David Morse (Treme) and Ryan Gosling (Drive) star in Alex and Andrew Smith’s feature writing-directorial debut about a fatherless high-school quarterback. Nominated for the Independent Spirit Awards’ John Cassavetes Award.. (2002 Sundance Film Festival)

Stingray Sam (Director and screenwriter: Cory McAbee) — Cory McAbee’s 2009 follow up to The American Astronaut features writer-director McAbee as Stingray Sam and “Crugie” as The Quasar Kid, two space convicts in a series of episodic adventures narrated by David Hyde Pierce (Frasier). (2009 Sundance Film Festival)

to.get.her (Director and screenwriter: Erica Dunton) — Five teenage girls with a shared secret get together for a weekend of “no consequences” in this 2011 Sundance Film Festival premiere that won the Best of Next <=> Audience Award. Actress-model Jazzy De Lisser stars in a “mystery” written and directed by Erica Dunton (The 27 Club). (2011 Sundance Film Festival)

Wave Twisters (Directors: Eric Henry and Syd Garon) — Animators Syd Garon (Superheroes, Last Call at the Oasis) and Eric Henry’s “turntablism-based musical” won the 2001 Midnight Films Audience Award at the 2001 SXSW Film Festival. Scripted to a recording by “scratch” artist DJ Qbert, Wave Twisters follows a group of heroes traveling through inner-space on a quest to save the lost art of Hip Hop. (2001 Sundance Film Festival)

We're Not Broke (Directors: Karin Hayes and Victoria Bruce) — A timely exposé on how the government has allowed U.S. corporations to avoid paying taxes, and the growing wave of discontent that is has fostered. A 2012 Sundance Film Festival premiere from the filmmakers of The Kidnapping of Ingrid Betancourt. (2012 Sundance Film Festival)

Sundance Institute

Sundance Institute is a global nonprofit organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981. Through its artistic development programs for directors, screenwriters, producers, composers and playwrights, the Institute seeks to discover and support independent film and theatre artists from the United States and around the world, and to introduce audiences to their new work. The Institute promotes independent storytelling to inform, inspire, and unite diverse populations around the globe. Internationally recognized for its annual Sundance Film Festival, Sundance Institute has nurtured such projects as Born into Brothels, Trouble the Water, Son of Babylon, Amreeka, An Inconvenient Truth, Spring Awakening, I Am My Own Wife, Light in the Piazza and Angels in America. Join Sundance Institute on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

Crown Casino launches Busby Berkeley-styled promo

Melbourne’s Crown Casino has launched a new campaign promoting its program of events, Carnivale.

The kaleidoscopic animated piece directed by Curious Film’s Syd Garon by agency Clemenger Bbdo is reminiscent of 1930′s Busby Berkeley films.

Garon teamed up with Carlos Florez, a La-based director and animator for the 30-second spot.

Garon said: “The ’Crown Carnivale’ spot was a challenge and a joy to work on. That being said, compositing thirty separate 5K Red Epic files in one continuous take is an experience I’m in no hurry to repeat.”

Garon was last week nominated for an Emmy Award in the category Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Graphic Design & Art Direction for his work on the HBO documentary about real-life superheroes, directed by Michael Barnett simply titled Superheroes.
See full article at Encore Magazine »

Superheroes (2011) Movie Review

Comic books have been with us for decades, but no doubt it took the power of Hollywood and movies to convince people to dress up in a costume and go out to “fight crime”. For better or worst, Hollywood has a major impact on how we view ourselves and our lives and the world around us. When anti-American individuals cite our “cultural imperialism”, let’s face it, they have a point. Hollywood, and the entertainment industry as a whole, is that influential in the world. I have no doubt that if you were to ask the participants of Michael Barnett’s documentary “Superheroes”, 9 out of 10 (if not the entire 10) would tell you they decided to become superheroes because Hollywood made it acceptable. I could be wrong, of course, but I’d be willing to put money on this. “Superheroes” is a documentary that spotlights real-life superheroes. In essence, guys and
See full article at Beyond Hollywood »

DVD Review: Superheroes


Features: Mr. Xtreme, Zimmer, Super Hero, T.S.A.F., Apocalypse Meow, Master Legend and more | Produced by Theodore James | Directed by Mike Barnett

A journey inside the world of real-life caped crusaders from all over America, Superheroes follows a handful of (extra)ordinary citizens who use homemade costumes and elaborate utility belts in an attempt to bring justice to evildoers everywhere.

Ever wondered what would happen if the events seen in Kick-Ass occurred in real life? Look no further than Superheroes, the Slamdance Award wining documentary from director Mike Barnett which introduces us to several of America’s most famous masked heroes, including Mr. Xtreme, a security guard by day and superhero by night who defends the streets of Orlando, and the New York initiative – a fearless foursome who live together and protect together, the streets of Brooklyn.

Whilst many will watch Superheroes and laugh at the expense of those represented within,
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Underground Film Links: December 18, 2011

1 more shopping week until Christmas!

Robert Maier wrote a book about working for John Waters and now he’s got a blog with a ton more stories. This article about how Hairspray became a PG-rated movie is extremely fascinating, but go ahead and read through the entire site, too.Michael Varrati has a wonderful interview up with Lewis Jackson, director of the Christmas cult classic You Better Watch Out aka Christmas Evil. Jackson is very candid about all the horrible things that went wrong making the film and with its distribution. Yet, he still managed to make a masterpiece.Film Comment posted up their list of the Best Unreleased Movies in 2011 and, of course, they have some underground films on there, like Alex Ross Perry’s The Color Wheel, which screened at this year’s Chicago Underground Film Festival; and experimental features like Nathaniel Dorsky’s The Return, Ken Jacobs’ Seeking the Monkey King,
See full article at Underground Film Journal »

Win A Copy Of Real-Life Comic Book Tale Superheroes Plus A Soundtrack CD And An Exclusive Superheroes Button

A hit at Slamdance and Hotdocs, Superheroes tells the story of, well, superheroes. By which I mean real life men and women who dress up in costumes and take on hero identities in real life.Touching and inspirational, Superheroes shows that the potential for greatness lies in all of us. Director Michael Barnett travels the country capturing ordinary people committing extraordinary acts of bravery and kindness. They are teachers, security guards and stay-at-home dads who don homemade comic-book costumes and fight for justice with names like Mr. Xtreme, Dark Guardian and Vigilante-Spider. Superheroes is an unvarnished tale of courage and compassion where fantasy and reality collide on some of the meanest streets in North America. This awe-inspiring documentary unmasks the true-life stories behind these costumed...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Lff 2011: Superheroes Review

  • HeyUGuys
In the 2010 fiction film Kick-Ass the titular character comments, following his defense of an unarmed man being beaten up outside a diner, “…three assholes, laying into one guy while everybody else watches? And you wanna know what’s wrong with me?”. This apathetic attitude and the desire to do something tangible about it is really at the heart of Superheroes, Mike Barnett’s documentary about real world versions of characters like Kick-Ass.

This is clear early in the documentary when the incredibly tragic story of Kitty Genovese is introduced. Kitty Genovese (real name Catherine Susan Genovese) was a woman murdered in 1964, stabbed to death, reportedly in plain view of many people who did nothing or even closed their windows and ignored the attack and cries for help. Whilst reports of this event vary, the mere suggestion that bystanders stood by and let a woman be stabbed to death without interfering
See full article at HeyUGuys »

The BFI London Film Festival brings you the real Kick-Ass with Superheroes

If, like Aaron Johnson’s character in the award-winning film Kick-Ass, you’ve ever had the urge to don a mask and fight crime, it seems you’re not alone as insightful documentary Superheroes hits the big screen at the 55th BFI London Film Festival later this month.

Journeying into the world of real-life caped crusaders, Superheroes follows a group of superhero fans from across North America, who are taking the law into their own hands. From the steel-plated ‘Master Legend’ in Orlando to evil-defeating ‘Thanatos’ in Vancouver, director Michael Barnett uncovers and documents this growing cultural phenomenon of vigilantes inspired by their comic book idols.

Introducing several of the Us’ most famous masked heroes, the feature documentary follows individuals such as real-life Kick Ass, Mr Extreme, a 33 year old security guard by day who by night patrols the streets protecting the innocent, and organised crime-fighting group, The New York
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

55th London Film Festival Programme

The programme for the 55th BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express launched today by Artistic Director Sandra Hebron, celebrates the imagination and excellence of international filmmaking from both established and emerging talent. Over 16 days the Festival will screen a total of 204 fiction and documentary features, including 13 World Premieres, 18 International Premieres and 22 European Premieres . There will also be screenings of 110 live action and animated shorts. Many of the films will be presented by their directors, cast members and crew, some of whom will also take part in career interviews, masterclasses, and other special events. The 55th BFI London Film Festival will run from 12-27 October.

Special Screenings

Opening the festival is Fernando Meirelles’ 360, written by Peter Morgan, and starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law and Rachel Weisz. Weisz is also the star of Terence Davies’ closing night film, The Deep Blue Sea, alongside a cast which includes Simon Russell Beale and Tom Hiddleston.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

55th BFI London Film Festival Programme Announced

  • HeyUGuys
From the 12th to the 27th of October the 55th BFI London Film Festival brings its annual box of delights to the capital. Earlier today the full programme was announced, and it look like being another fine year.

We already know that Fernando Meirelles’ latest 360 will open proceedings on the 12th and fifteen days later Terence DaviesThe Deep Blue Sea will bring the festival to a close but there are many more great films to come and see in London this October.

There was a familiar feeling creeping across the audience this morning that a lot of the films had, like last year, already played elsewhere but this is only a small consideration when you consider the scope of the festival’s remit. To bring a vital, fresh and horizon-expanding series of features, shorts and documentaries is no easy task, and while the more well known films have played
See full article at HeyUGuys »

Full Line-Up For The 55th BFI London Film Festival Revealed

I have just literally walked out of a special launch event for the 55th BFI London Film Festival, held this morning at the massive Odeon cinemas in London’s Leicester Square. This year’s festival runs from 12th October until the 27th October and we’re especially excited because this is the very first year that The Hollywood News will have properly covered the whole event, despite the many years that we have been online.

This morning’s launch event was introduced by BFI Chief Executve Amanda Nevill and Artistic Director Sandra Hebron, who actually bows out of the role after this year. Following the introductions the capacity auditorium, made up of fellow journalists, actors, actresses, filmmakers and other industry folk, we were treated to a 30 minute reel showcasing 36 of the 300 films and short films playing at the festival, which is once again sponsored primarily by American Express. We already
See full article at The Hollywood News »

BFI London Film Festival Full Line-Up Announced

Artistic director Sandra Hebron has announced the line-up for the 55th BFI London Film Festival this morning where they will screen “a total of 204 fiction and documentary features, including 13 World Premieres, 18 International Premieres and 22 European Premieres” plus “110 live action and animated shorts”.

We are already knew Fernando Meirelles’ adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s erotic drama play 360 written by Peter Morgan and starring Anthony Hopkins, Jude Law and Rachel Weisz would open the festival and that The Deep Blue Sea, which incidentally is another adaptation of a play (Terence Rattigan’s) and also stars Rachel Weisz, will close it. Of Time and City’s Terrence Davies directed that movie which also stars Tom Hiddleston and Simon Russell Beale.

Now we know the in-between stuff from the Gala & Special Screenings and there’s a wide selection of extremely interesting films;

George Clooney is bringing his political thriller The Ides of March that
See full article at Obsessed with Film »

Superhero Bits: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Angry Birds, Doctor Strange, Iron Man

Superhero Bits: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, Angry Birds, Doctor Strange, Iron Man
What did Anne Hathaway have to say about the fan's response to the above photo of her in The Dark Knight Rises? What did someone in that suit destroy on the set of the film? Which Avengers actors does Joss Whedon have a man crush on? How much will it cost you to get an original piece of Amazing Spider-Man art? Which Marvel movies could fill the two just announced 2014 release dates? Read about all of this and more in today's Superhero Bits. MTV News [1] spoke to Anne Hathaway about the reveal of the Catwoman photo from The Dark Knight Rises and not only does she call them out on their reaction but tells fans they haven't seen anything yet. Speaking of Catwoman, TMZ has [2] a video of a stunt woman on the Batpod crushing a (possibly IMAX) camera on the set of The Dark Knight Rises. Really funny stuff.
See full article at Slash Film »

TV Review: HBO Docs' 'Superheroes'

  • Filmology
Michael Barnett's documentary Superheroes, airing on HBO tonight, is essentially a nonfiction version of Matthew Vaughn's vivid, uber-violent nerd-pleaser, Kick-Ass. Both films ask the question, "Why don't more people dress up as/become superheroes?" While Kick-Ass imagines (and quite graphicly so) that said people would get their ass kicked, Superheroes depicts the stark reality, and it involves a lot of tedious, fruitless midnight patrols. These crime-fighting cats would love to cross paths with a rapist. You don't know any, do you?

read more
See full article at Filmology »

Superheroes Movie Review

Superheroes Movie Review
Title: Superheroes Directors: Michael Barnett and Theodore James There’s an odd and easygoing charm to Superheroes, a colorful new documentary which enjoys its world broadcast premiere on HBO on Monday, August 8. While in the narrative realm James Gunn’s “Super”, Peter Stebbings’ “Defendor” and Matthew Vaughn’s ultra-stylized Kick-Ass, among others, have examined the worlds and worldviews of those who take on a superhero guise without any particular special powers, “Superheroes” is a nonfiction look at those who don self-made spandex costumes along with alter egos, patrolling city streets at night to stop evildoers and protect the innocent. An engaging if ultimately intellectually lightweight sub-cultural safari, the movie offers up something for...
See full article at ShockYa »

Watch: Superheroes

Zimmer, Z, Tsaf and Lucid (Photo Credit: Courtesy of HBO) Premiering on HBO on Monday, August, 8, Superheroes chronicles the lives of dedicated real people as they protect and support their own communities from New York to Seattle to San Diego to Orlando. They patrol the dark and dangerous streets of their cities, seeking out criminals, evildoers and villains while helping the homeless and the downtrodden. Superheroes goes deep inside the world of real-life caped crusaders. From all over America, these everyday citizens don masks, homemade costumes and elaborate utility belts in an attempt to bring justice to evildoers everywhere. We asked director Michael Barnett to tell us a little more... Theodore James, Mr. Extreme, and Michael Barnett (Photo Credit: Courtesy of HBO) My documentary film Superheroes, a look into the world of the ever-growing Real Life Super Hero community, will be airing on August 8 on HBO. I would like to
See full article at Tribeca Film »

Sdcc 2011: Slamdance Hit Doc Superheroes Gets a Release

One of the buzzworthy titles at Slamdance 2011 was the real life superhero (that's Rlsh for the uninitiated) documentary Superheroes. Docurama Films/Newvideo/Flatiron has just announced they will be releasing the film on DVD November 15 after its HBO premiere August 8 and a Slamdance sponsored theatrical run. Michael Barnett's documentary explores the Rlsh phenomena of citizens who don superhero costumes and patrol their streets looking to dole out vigilante, errr, community justice. It's kind of like Kick-Ass with less Nic Cage. Docurama Films is probably best known for their DVD release of Michael Stephenson's incredible 2009 film Best Worst Movie. Upcoming releases include The Swell Season and Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey. In other news, judging by the wardrobe choices of Sdcc attendees, it...
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

2011 Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival: Official Lineup

San Diego’s annual Comic-Con is mostly known for its major media spectacles, displays and panel discussions by major mainstream Hollywood studios and distributors. Lesser known is the Independent Film Festival that is hosted by and runs concurrently with the larger convention on July 21-24.

The film festival runs in a large meeting room at the Marriott Marquis Hotel and Marina, located right next door to the convention center. Each day kicks off with a “Film School” panel discussion at 10:00 a.m., then packs the late morning, all afternoon and night with independent films from all over the world.

Screenings are blocked by genre, such as Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi, Horror, Animation and Documentary. There’s also an awards presentation on the 24th, with repeat screenings of the winning films.

One of the highlights of this year’s Cci-iff is the screening of Waylon Bacon‘s fantastic and disturbing short film Help Wanted,
See full article at Underground Film Journal »

"Superheroes" Premieres on HBO August 8th!

Add one more superhero blockbuster to your summer movie schedule. I had heard a whisper of this a while ago, but now it's confirmed: HBO Documentary Films bought the TV rights to Michael Barnett's Slamdance hit "Superheroes," a doc about those real-life costumed crusaders who are often likened to characters in the films "Kick-Ass" and "Super." The funny thing is I didn't realize it was official until I saw a magazine ad today for HBO's summer doc series, which features a new premiere every Monday from June 6 through August 15. Other titles include such festival hits as "Bobby Fischer…
See full article at Spout »

Hot Docs 2011 Review: Superheroes

Bruce Wayne may not have laser vision or super speed, but he does have a force much more potent than any cackling villain can handle. Suspension of belief. In a real world, with accountable gravity, lack of paranormally enriched radiation and the existential crisis of life without a structural narrative, superheroes and vigilantes are far less common than in the realm of comic books. Then again, so are the problems they are typically forced to deal with. In Superheroes, Michael Barnett introduces to a gallery of men and women in North America who take it upon themselves to don masks and capes, lurking the streets for criminals to thwart, or, perhaps just tourists to pose for. But in a subculture that is so much more showmanship than substance, Barnett’s film begins to stumble on almost identical faults.

Displaying a wide range of results and an even wider range of delusion,
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