In the Works: FINDERS KEEPERS

The strange case of two men whose lives intersect over a severed human foot and a barbecue, from the producer of THE KING OF KONG and UNDEFEATED and directed by his protege.

finders keepersWhen Shannon Whisnant bought a barbecue smoker at an auction in rural North Carolina in 2007, he was surprised to find a severed human foot within it. Looking to capitalize on the media attention generated by this improbable discovery, Shannon tried to turn it into a tourist attraction, only to subsequently find himself involved in a lawsuit for its possession against John Wood, an amputee who lost the leg in a plane crash that claimed his father’s life. Producer Ed Cunningham began documenting the story only to come up against financing stone walls. When his assistant Bryan Carberry learned of the project, he convinced Cunningham to let him take over as director to try to complete the story, which took on even more bizarre – and apparently even inspiring – twists as time passed.

Carberry and Cunningham are nearing the end of a Kickstarter campaign to finish the project. With a week and half remaining, they have just over 30% left to raise of their $80,000 goal. To keep updated on the film, visit its Facebook page.

Cunningham clearly has an eye for compelling non-fiction subjects – in addition to THE KING OF KONG and the Oscar-winning UNDEFEATED, he produced both NEW YORK DOLL (Sundance) and MAKE BELIEVE (Los Angeles Film Festival) – while first time director Carberry’s enthusiasm resurrected a dead project and has certainly piqued my interest. I’m often drawn to stories of individuals caught up in unlikely situations, from THE IMPOSTER to SONG SUNG BLUE to MARWENCOL; the bizarre set-up here is definitely intriguing, as is the promise of further unexpected developments and revelations hinted at by the crowdfunding campaign. I’m hopeful that funding comes through and look forward to discovering the whole story in the finished doc.

Note: If you have a feature documentary currently in production or post-production and would like to be considered for an In the Works profile, tell me about it here.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, In the Works

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