One of the surprise word-of-mouth hits at Sundance comes from an unexpected source: first-time filmmaker Jon Foy, of Philadelphia, who landed in the Sundance competition with Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. Veteran doc filmmaker Doug Block (Home Page, The Kids Grow Up), who runs the doc community site The D-Word, got a call from the rookie Philadelphia filmmaker and film school dropout, seeking advice. He had been toiling away for more than five years on a doc about the Toynbee Tiles, which crop up embedded in roads around the country, from the North East spreading all the way to South America, inspiring many theories about their origin. UPDATE: The doc won the best directing documentary prize Saturday at Sundance.
As Foy obsessively worked on the doc, he lived on food stamps, did odd jobs cleaning houses, and was rejected by a couple of festivals. When he was accepted by Sundance, he couldn’t afford the $150 entrance fee. Block was riveted by the movie and took it on as exec producer, helping Foy to start a Kickstarter campaign which just passed its target of $10,000 on Saturday, January 29. Block called Submarine’s Josh Braun who agreed to sell the film at Sundance, where Block housed Foy and his pad of 20 guys at a condo. He functioned as Foy’s “career counselor, coach, therapist and hand-holder,” he says.
Here’s the Kickstarter campaign pitch: