Last year I covered the SXSW Film festival, and stumbled up to the Alamo Draft House to see a film, Nina Forever, that I was anticipating ever since receiving my press pass. I was ushered into the theater, and sat next to a film executive who was definitely experiencing SXSW and Austin, Texas a little too much. As the film began, I quickly realized I was in the wrong theater. I was not about to see Nina Forever. Little did I know, my night would be engulfed in a marathon session that include two films and more love and dedication for a movie than I thought was possible. The film I was about to see was Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made. I will vouch for the title, it truly was the greatest fan film I have ever seen.
Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made is a movie made by three young boys. A shot-for-shot fan film of a movie they saw and fell in love with, Raiders of the Lost Ark. With little-to-no knowledge of how to make the props and sets, a home video camera, and hand-written notes from screenings of the movie, the boys set out to make their movie. Seven years and a lot of arguments later, the boys almost had their film complete. It was a true shot-for-shot recreation. The boys didn’t know it, but they had also captured something that even Steven Spielberg couldn’t capture on film, love.
Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made is a documentary about the boys’ process and the story of what motivated them. Now, Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made is getting a theatrical release, along with the actual film that the boys made (with the final two scenes added in). It is a film that was praised by me last year after seeing it. You can read what I wrote here. It has also been praised by horror director Eli Roth, Aintitcool.com, and countless other media outlets, and has been screened in back rooms during pretty much every comic and film convention for the past 30 years.
It is more of an experience to see how these kids captured their childhood on film, and the hardships they overcame to finally complete a film that took them a decade to make. Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made will get its big screen début on Jun 17, but the big event will be the theatrical tour, bringing the fan film and the documentary as a double feature. You can check out the dates and cities for the tour here. Check out this clip from the film:
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