In the Works: DANLAND

A provocative look at the turbulent life and loves of an amateur porn producer/performer.

Although Dan Leal is not particularly attractive, in shape, or possessed of a Michael Fassbender-sized endowment, he finds himself enjoying popularity and financial success as “Porno Dan,” the head of Immoral Productions, his one-man amateur porn production company. Living out some people’s idea of a dream job, Dan performs in many of his low-budget productions. Having received peer recognition by being nominated for an AVN Award (the adult video Oscars), he’s ready to grow his business and stop appearing in his own films, hoping this can help him settle down in a stable relationship. Director Alexandra Berger, making her documentary feature debut, follows him through more than three years of challenges, both professional and personal, on his quest to reconcile his unconventional career with his more conventional aspirations for true love.

Berger has just shy of a month left on her Kickstarter campaign. At the time of this writing, she’s nearly halfway to her modest goal of $6,000, with contributions going toward post-production costs to get the film ready for its debut later this month at Slamdance. To keep updated on the project, check out its Facebook page and its in-progress website.

I’ve known Alex Berger for several years, meeting her in Park City, in fact, late one night playing some drinking game at a festival house party. At the time she was the director of the Fifth Night Short Film and Screenplay Series, a program that helped discover new talents. At some point, she, or her husband Avi Zev Weider (serving as producer here, as he did with CINEMANIA and SCOTT WALKER: 30 CENTURY MAN), mentioned the Porno Dan project, and I filed it away in the back of my mind, intrigued. Last year, they asked me to consult on the film, so I watched an early cut and offered my feedback. Dan makes a curious subject – an Everyman, with seemingly ordinary dreams, but played out in a far-from-ordinary backdrop. Adding another layer to the film is Berger herself. While she isn’t a Michael Moore-like character in the doc, her presence is felt behind the camera – an outsider, and a woman, being given access to a world that it’s safe to say is atypical, at times crossing personal boundaries of comfort to capture her character’s life. I’m eager to see the finished version in Park City.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, In the Works

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