Coming to VOD tomorrow, Friday, August 5: THE DWARVENAUT
Josh Bishop’s affectionate portrait of a Dungeons & Dragons-obsessed artist made its debut at SXSW earlier this year. It has gone on to screen at IFF Boston, SF DocFest, Calgary Underground, and Fantasia. It now comes to VOD platforms including iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, XBOX, and Vudu.
Going where no D&D player has dared to venture, the titular figure in Bishop’s often amusing film is Stefan Pokorny, a Dungeon Master-turned-game miniature designer. His company, Dwarven Forge, has made a killing among the D&D subculture by providing intricately detailed sets for gaming – modular pieces depicting the terrain of the game, from mazelike caves and dungeon playsets to his newest, most ambitious idea, Valoria, the fictional medieval city in which Pokorny has set his gaming adventures for decades. Having found great success via Kickstarter, Dwarven Forge has turned to the crowdfunding platform once again, but for some reason, this new design isn’t catching fire quite as quickly, putting the company’s fortunes in peril. As Pokorny contends with this literal countdown, Bishop also follows him to different gaming conventions. Although he is shown drinking to excess to a troubling degree at these events, it’s clear this outsider has found his tribe. The offspring of a Korean mother and white American soldier, he was adopted only to be returned into the system before an immigrant couple finally took him in. He reveals a difficult path to his present circumstances, where he’s been able to combine his artistic sensibilities with his gaming passion, and forge his own distinct path. Through his affable, if flawed, protagonist, Bishop celebrates the misfit in everyone.