Amazon Studios has debuted the official trailer for “Val” ahead of the documentary’s world premiere at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival. From directors Leo Scott and Ting Poo, “Val” tells the story of actor Val Kilmer through home videos he personally shot over the course of four decades. Kilmer also serves as an executive producer on the project.
The official “Val” synopsis from Amazon Studios reads: “For over 40 years Val Kilmer, one of Hollywood’s most mercurial and/or misunderstood actors has been documenting his own life and craft through film and video. He has amassed thousands of hours of footage, from 16mm home movies made with his brothers, to time spent in iconic roles for blockbuster movies like ‘Top Gun,’ ‘The Doors,’ ‘Tombstone,’ and ‘Batman Forever.’ This raw, wildly original and unflinching documentary reveals a life lived to extremes and a heart-filled, sometimes hilarious look at what it means to be an artist and a complex man.”
Poo and Scott spent over nine months digitizing Kilmer’s home videos in order to use them in their documentary, with Poo telling IndieWire ahead of the film’s Cannes premiere that the footage Kilmer recorded floored the directing duo. Scott added, “The more of it you get to see, the more you understand who he is now. There was always a sense that he was interested in his own craft. You got the sense from the material that he was knowingly, wisely, gathering some of these things for a bigger story one day.”
Cinephiles will be most interested to see the on-set videos Kilmer recorded during the making of his most famous movies. Poo told IndieWire, “He shot over 200 hours of footage just around ‘Red Planet.’ He had a full camera crew with him, and his own HD cam. It was a lot, and we ended up using less than a minute. … Val got those cameras so early on that people weren’t even used to having cameras on set. So he managed to get a different perspective.”
Amazon Studios will release “Val” in theaters July 23. The documentary will begin streaming August 6 on Amazon Prime Video.
Watch the official trailer for “Val” in the video below.