34 user 69 critic

Operation Avalanche (2016)

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In 1967, four undercover CIA agents were sent to NASA posing as a documentary film crew. What they discovered led to one of the biggest conspiracies in American history.


Matt Johnson
2 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Matt Johnson ... Matt Johnson
Owen Williams Owen Williams ... Owen Williams
Andrew Appelle Andrew Appelle ... Andy Appelle (as Andy Appelle)
Jared Raab Jared Raab ... Jared Raab
Josh Boles Josh Boles ... Josh Boles
Ray James Ray James ... CIA director Brackett
Sharon Belle ... Sharon Belle
Krista Madison Krista Madison ... Julie Williams
Joe Thomas ... James Webb (voice) (as Joe J. Thomas)
John Henry Robson John Henry Robson ... Baby Simon
Madeleine Sims-Fewer Madeleine Sims-Fewer ... Madeleine
Tom Bolton ... Agent #1
John Osmokrovic John Osmokrovic ... Agent #2
Chris Gonsalves ... Agent #3
Brad Brackenridge Brad Brackenridge ... Texas studio manager


1967: the height of the Cold War. The CIA suspects there is a Russian mole inside of NASA, sabotaging the Apollo program. They send two young agents on a mission to go undercover, posing as documentary filmmakers to capture NASA's race to the moon. The real mission - use their access and technology to hunt down the leak. But what they discover is far more shocking than soviet spies - Their government may be hiding a secret about Apollo that could define the decade, and the White House will stop at nothing to silence anyone who learns it.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language including a brief sexual reference | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site


Canada | USA



Release Date:

16 September 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Operaatio Avalanche See more »


Box Office


$1,250,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$55,000, 21 October 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs



Color | Black and White (opening sequence)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Actress Sharon Belle originally had a much larger role throughout the film, but most of her scenes ended up being cut. See more »


In two scenes in the movie, one at the very beginning and the other right at the end, a dark blue pick up truck can be seen parked in a car park. The truck looks like it was made in the 80's - 90's and does not fit into the time line of the movie. It also has mag wheels of a modern design which look out of place in the 60's. See more »


Matt Johnson: No one is going to think this is fake, because how insane would that be?
See more »


References Touch of Evil (1958) See more »


Whipping Post
Written by Gregg Allman (uncredited)
Performed by John Fogerty
See more »

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User Reviews

Matt Johnson is a genuine force
15 March 2016 | by freekyfridaysSee all my reviews

This hilarious "period-piece mockumentary" of NASA's Apollo landing hoax not only "talks the found-footage talk" (similar to Johnson's brilliant 2013 debut feature THE DiRTiES, which won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative at the Slamdance Film Festival) but his sophomore effort truly "walks the rebellious walk." Astoundingly shot in a purposefully grainy 16mm (that was blown up to HD) and looks remarkably like it was filmed in 1967, writer-director-actor Matt Johnson actually tricked modern day NASA officials into allowing him to film inside the real headquarters. This Q&A revelation after the world premiere screening was one of the festival's highlights.

Johnson explained "We contacted NASA and we told them we were making a 'documentary' about the Apollo program. They surprisingly agreed to let us film on the premises, so all of the scenes that are actually in the film, where I'm introducing myself as Matt, a documentary filmmaker? That was all real."

Johnson has crafted a genuine "Cold War" thriller here. And while there's a ton of cinematic references — that go well beyond the obvious Stanley Kubrick surface — keep a close-eye open for each movie poster hanging on walls. They each seem to significantly (and psychologically) relate to a different character. But nothing can prepare you for the film's climactic, single-shot driving scene that now ranks pretty damn high on my favorite chase sequences in film history. This is not just a young Canadian filmmaker to watch; Matt Johnson is a genuine force who has now completed two fully realized films that contemporary audiences should embrace.

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