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Meet the 2011 SXSW Filmmakers | "Dragonslayer," "Last Days" & "The Key Man"

By Brian Brooks | Indiewire March 10, 2011 at 3:32AM

indieWIRE is again profiling filmmakers taking part in the SXSW Film Festival's Narrative and Documentary Competitions and Emerging Visions sections with nearly two dozen filmmakers providing responses. Today’s three profiles include Don Argott and Demian Fenton's "Last Days Here" (Documentary Competition), "Dragonslayer" by Tristan Patterson (Documentary Competition) and Peter Himmelstein's Emerging Visions entry, "The Key Man."
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Meet the 2011 SXSW Filmmakers | "Dragonslayer," "Last Days" & "The Key Man"
Downtown Austin, TX. Photo by Brian Brooks.

indieWIRE is again profiling filmmakers taking part in the SXSW Film Festival's Narrative and Documentary Competitions and Emerging Visions sections with nearly two dozen filmmakers providing responses. Today’s three profiles include Don Argott and Demian Fenton's "Last Days Here" (Documentary Competition), "Dragonslayer" by Tristan Patterson (Documentary Competition) and Peter Himmelstein's Emerging Visions entry, "The Key Man."

Soon after the SXSW unveiled its 2011 SXSW lineup, indieWIRE invited directors with films in the Narrative, Documentary and Emerging Visions sections to submit responses in their own words about their films.

A snapshot of Thursday's three featured interviews:

Tristan Patterson's "Dragonslayer" is the story of a lost kid, falling in love in the suburbs of Fullerton, California. Speaking about the inspiration for the film, Patterson said a chance party he attended got the creative juices flowing. "The scene reminded me of all the great suburban wasteland movies of the Reagan era - 'Suburbia,' 'Over The Edge,' 'The River’s Edge' - only this was 25 years later. It suddenly occurred to me that these kids were the sons and daughters of the characters in those movies."

"Last Days Here" tells the story of Bobby Liebling, lead singer of the cult hard rock/heavy metal band Pentagram. Frozen for decades in his parents' basement, Bobby's music is finally discovered by the heavy metal underground. With the help of Sean "Pellet" Pelletier, his friend and manager, Bobby attempts to overcome years of addiction, loneliness, and broken dreams. "We went down and shot some tape of Bobby in his parent's basement where he was living," noted Fenton. "We left thinking to ourselves that there was no way this guy was going live long enough to go on any type of journey. We weren't interested in documenting Bobby simply destroying himself. Bobby slowly started making changes, he had a few musical opportunities early on that never really came to fruition, but kept us interested. Slowly but surely we all moved forward; Bobby with his life, and us with the film."

Peter Himmelstein's "The Key Man" tracks the troubles faced by Bobby Scheinman, an insurance salesman struggling to provide for his family. When two con men try to get Bobby involved in their moneymaking scheme, all hell breaks loose. As Himmelstein revealed, Bobby's story was inspired from something he had witnessed himself. "The story is very loosely inspired by a friend of my father’s who I knew and liked as a boy," he said. "Something went very wrong with his career and his life and one day he disappeared from my father’s circle of friends. My dad was shaken up by whatever happened and would not talk about it. Years later I began to research what happened to him on my own. He had gotten himself involved in some kind of tangled mess and it ruined him. There were certain details that I found very evocative and certain things that I found a bit frightening, particularly as I got older and was married and had children."


Thursday's profiles follow for Thursday's spotlighted SXSW Filmmakers (3/10)

"Dragonslayer" Director Tristan Patterson

"Last Days Here" Directors Don Argott and Demian Fenton

"The Key Man" Director Peter Himmelstein


The full-length interviews follow for Wednesday (3/9):

"Fightville" Directors Michael Tucker and Petra Epperlein

"Convento" Director Jarred Alterman

"American Animal" Director Matt D'Elia


The full-length interviews follow for Tuesday (3/8):

"New Jerusalem" Director R. Alverson (Emerging Visions)

"Better This World" Directors Galloway and Duane de la Vega (Documentary Competition)

"Small, Beautifully Moving Parts" Co-directors Annie J. Howell and Lisa Robinson (Narrative Competition)


The full length-interviews follow for Monday (3/7):

"Charlie Casanova" Director Terry McMahon

"The Catechism Cataclysm" Director Todd Rohal

"The City Dark" Director Ian Cheney


The full length-interviews follow for Friday (3/4):

Meet the 2011 SXSW Filmmakers | "Natural Selection" Director Robbie Pickering (Narrative Competition)

Meet the 2011 SXSW Filmmakers | "Weekend" Director Andrew Haigh (Emerging Visions)

Meet the 2011 SXSW Filmmakers | "Where Soldiers Come From" Director Heather Courtney (Documentary Competition)


The full-length interviews follow for Thursday (3/3):

Meet the 2011 SXSW Filmmakers | "Fly Away" Director Janet Grillo (Narrative Feature Competition)

Meet the 2011 SXSW Filmmakers | "Kumaré" Director Vikram Gandhi (Documentary Competition)

Meet the 2011 SXSW Filmmakers | "Bad Fever" Director Dustin Guy Defa (Emerging Visions)

This article is related to: Features, Filmmaker Toolkit, Interviews, DRAGONSLAYER






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