For its twenty-fifth anniversary, Alexandre Rockwell’s 1992 Sundance winner “In the Soup” is asking for a big gift — but a necessary one. Indie distributor Factory 25 has now launched a crowdfunding campaign to finance the repair and preservation of the film, aiming to make it available digitally and on Blu-ray for the first time.
And while the allure of catching the pioneering feature — the one that beat out “Reservoir Dogs” at the lauded festival, no less — is compelling enough on its own, the real reason for the urgency of the campaign is something else entirely: without this restoration, the film will likely no longer exist. The only existing archival print of the feature is badly damaged, and without the addition of crowdfunded financing, Grady will be unable to restore the film.
“‘In the Soup’ really encapsulates early ‘90’s filmmaking and the thriving New York indie scene of that time,” said Grady in an official statement. “Because of the way it was shot, on a black-and-white Kodak stock that doesn’t even exist anymore, and the fact that the only archival print we have is so damaged, it can’t be replicated at this point, it’s literally at risk of disappearing forever.”
He added, “It’s taken a lot of research with international labs and tracking down assets but we’ve found a way to restore it. We just need to raise the funding. Kickstarter seems like the best way collaborate with Alex’s and the cast’s fans and people who care about film preservation and indie filmmaking in general to make this happen.”
The film was a huge festival hit, winning additional awards at both Chicago and Deauville, and seemed poised to became a major indie breakout. Bizarrely, the film was acquired by a boutique distribution company that went out of business a week after the film’s theatrical release.
The film stars Steve Buscemi, Sam Rockwell, Stanley Tucci, Jennifer Beals, Seymour Cassel, Will Patton, Jim Jarmusch, and Carol Kane. Grady’s restoration has the full support of Rockwell and his cast, and various members of the team are set to promote the campaign and are even contributing rewards to backers.
The Kickstarter campaign is now live, and will run until August 30. Grady and Factory 25 are seeking a minimum of $54,000 to cover the costs of restoration and archival work. Any additional funds will facilitate a wider release and theatrical appearances.
In exchange for contributing, backers will receive one-of-a-kind artifacts from the making of the film, one-on-one editing, casting, and script supervision sessions from industry experts, or lunch in New York City with Rockwell, Buscemi, and others.
You can check out an old trailer of “In the Soup” below.