Directed by Chris Smith • 1999 • United States
It takes a village to make a movie, but when that village is Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, the results are bizarre, comical, and quintessentially American. With the help of his mother, his eighty-two-year-old uncle, and a local cast of oddballs, DIY filmmaker Mark Borchardt fights his way through internal and external roadblocks to achieve his goal of making his movie—an independent horror short called COVEN—his way. His inspiration comes from films as disparate as THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and THE SEVENTH SEAL, as well as his experiences growing up amid the grey skies, rusty cars, and ranch houses of Milwaukee’s Northwest Side. Spanning over two years of struggle, financial decline, and spiritual crisis, this cult favorite—winner of Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize for documentary—is a hilarious, poignant, and heartfelt tale of ambition, obsession, excess, and one man’s pursuit of the American dream.