Moving over to this year’s Documentary Premieres section: Brad Besser’s chronicle of a cult classic, BEAVER TRILOGY PART IV.
Sundance Program Description:
In 1979, KUTV in Salt Lake City acquired a new video camera. Trent Harris, a producer for the station’s offbeat show EXTRA, ventured out into the parking lot to test the new equipment and happened upon a young man taking pictures of the station’s news helicopter. The kid, calling himself “Groovin’ Gary,” was the self-proclaimed Rich Little of Beaver, Utah. His infectious personality and small-town impressions of John Wayne, Sylvester Stallone, and Barry Manilow piqued Harris’ interest enough so he gave him a business card and asked that he alert him if anything newsworthy happened in his hometown. What happened next would become the foundation for BEAVER TRILOGY, a unique collection of films that documented Harris’ multiple attempts at re-creating the original magic of the Beaver Kid.
Director Brad Besser dives deep into the mystique of this cult classic, unraveling the mystery of Harris’ original inspiration. Steeped in Sundance Film Festival history (the original BEAVER TRILOGY premiered at the Festival in 2001), BEAVER TRILOGY PART IV explores the line between the quest for fame and the exploitation of those who pursue it.
This is Los Angeles-based, Salt Lake City native Brad Besser’s second documentary feature, which he directed, produced, and edited. Joining him as producers are Sundance vets Kelly Williams (features HELLION (2014) and PIT STOP (2013), shorts BLACK METAL (2013) and HELLION (2012)), Jonathan Duffy (features HELLION and PIT STOP), and Don Swaynos (PIT STOP editor).
Why You Should Watch:
Deftly working on multiple levels which encompass Harris’ and Gary’s stories and where they intersect, Besser is able to capture the strange fascination of the BEAVER TRILOGY – even for viewers who have never heard of the project before. As much about documentary filmmaking as it is about the untold history of documentary subjects, Besser’s film may just attain its own level of cult status.
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