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Reel Paradise (2004)

Cast: Wyatt Pierson, Georgia Pierson, Janet Pierson, more...
Director: Steve James
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: Fox Lorber
Genre: Documentary, Film, Travel
Running Time: 110 min.
Languages: English
    see additional details...

John Pierson is a passionate cinema enthusiast who has written books on maverick filmmakers (including the bestsellers Spike, Mike, Slackers & Dykes and Reel Paradise), co-created, produced, and hosted the Split Screen series on the Independent Film Channel network, and helped produce a number of independent films, including early works by Spike Lee, Michael Moore, and Richard Linklater. In February 2000, Pierson traveled to Fiji to shoot an episode of Split Screen, where in the tiny village of Taveuni he discovered a fully functioning movie theater. A year later, Pierson discovered that the owner was closing shop and moving to New Zealand. Fascinated by the prospect of showing movies in a remote community that was still edging its way into 20th century technology -- most homes have no electricity or telephones -- Pierson took over the business. Although the theater had shown American films since the fifties, many of the impoverished locals were unable to pay the admission prices - so Pierson waived the costs, thus enabling more natives to attend. He and his family stayed in Taveuni for a year, and his friend Steve James (himself a documentary filmmaker of note) brought a camera crew to Fiji to document the final month of Pierson's experiment. Reel Paradise shows the Taveunians reacting to everything from Steamboat Bill Jr. to Jackass: The Movie, Pierson and his family discussing the reactions of his patrons, the exhibitors' sometimes thorny relationship with Christian missionaries who question his influence on the community, and the cultural and economic divide between the Pierson family and the Fiji natives. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

In an exclusive interview for GreenCine, Jonathan Marlow talks to John, Janet, Georgia and Wyatt Pierson about their adventure and the film that captures their story, Reel Paradise. Full Article >>

In these days of penguins and politics, it's easy to forget that documentaries were once an extreme rarity in theaters. With Hoop Dreams, Steve James helped prove audiences would turn out for a great story, regardless of genre. In an exclusive interview for GreenCine, James talks about how his latest, Reel Paradise, is unlike any film he's worked on before. Full Article >>

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Indianapolis International Film Festival
Films that showed at the Indianapolis International Film Festival - which began in 2004

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