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‘American Monster’ Looks to Document the Trial of an Accused Ritualistic Murderer

'American Monster' Looks to Document the Trial of an Accused Ritualistic Murderer

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American Monster

Logline: A non-fiction crime thriller, told through the eyes of those closest to a bizarre and brutal crime, “American Monster” strives to flip the script on the American culture of violence in by re-examining it as a community problem.

Elevator Pitch: 
John Lawson grew up poor and abused in the affluent suburb of Clemmons, NC. Rejected at home, at school and by his hometown at large, he earned his community’s respect the only way he knew how: FEAR.

In direct response to the fears of his community, Lawson became the boogeyman of Clemmons, taking on the persona of “Pazuzu Algarad, Islamic Satanist.” Algarad would raise a ‘brotherhood’ of outsiders – most mentally-ill addicts, all poor. Together they murdered two strangers, burying them in his backyard. American Monster raises many questions, but perhaps the most compelling one is, what could we have done? 

Production Team:
Patricia E. Gillespie – Director/Producer
Patricia is a Sundance DFP Fellow and Wasserman Award winner. She recently wrapped Principal Photography as Producer on Jen Brea’s “Canary in a Coal Mine.”

Eric Chang – Producer
Eric is a two-time Emmy Nominee and a veteran of cutting edge commercial production houses including Digital Kitchen and The Mill.

Kyle Porter – Co-Producer
Kyle’s documentary “Still Here” won Best Student Documentary in the American Pavilion in Cannes.

Adam Kolodny – Cinematographer
Adam is an Emmy-nominated cinematographer and member of the award-winning production company House of Nod. Two of his recent films, “Fly On Out” and “Ship of Fools” were officially selected for the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

Lauren Minnerath – Editor
Lauren recently edited Noah Baumbach’s documentary, De Palma.

About the Film:
Five years ago, my best friend’s brother Mike was murdered by two acquaintances in the Southbury, CT. I watched in horror as the town swept the incident under the rug, dismissing the young men involved as “wayward.” Perhaps they were. They needed help, and if they’d gotten it, Mike might be alive today. I was too young and inexperienced to make a film at the time, but I’m ready now.  

We’re all sick of the violence plaguing our country. In order to create real change, we have to approach the problem differently. American Monster is here to do just that. 

Current Status: Following the success of our Kickstarter campaign, we will be ready to begin Principal Photography just in time for Algarad’s long-awaited trial.

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