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BTDesign Award
American Movie (1999)

Cast: Mark Borchardt & his family, Mike Schank

Director(s): Chris Smith

Language: English

Genre: Documentary


Smith's film is a poignant commentary on what it takes to make an independent film. It also happens to be a genuinely hysterical, crowd-pleasing romp. Trying to get his masterpiece, NORTHWESTERN, off the ground, but failing miserably due to lack of funding and support, struggling Midwestern filmmaker Mark Borchardt instead turns his attention to COVEN, an abandoned 37-minute horror film that he began filming in 1990. His hopes are to sell enough copies of the video to enable him to clear his cur... [Get complete synopsis]


motleymitch wrote on October 29, 2006, 11:55 am
This is a compelling documentary about one man trying to make a feature film, with no money, and very little in the way of material, equipment, crew, and talent. His friends support him and lend a hand when they can, as does his family, but they all have their doubts about what is basically a loser among losers in trailer park society trying to follow his dreams. His biggest asset is definitely his mouth and his way of convincing others to help and pitch in money.
Borchardt is a fascinating guy though, and determined against all odds to finish his film. He's very driven in his moviemaking, but seems to lack drive for his life outside of his films, i.e. paying his bills, alimony, debts to relatives, etc....
His best friend Mike (pictured below) is way less ambitious, choosing to just help his friend out in every way, drink, and buy lottery tickets.
This film is often hilarious, weird, pathetic, sad, and uplifting all at once.
It's harder to explain than all that though. Definitely worth catching if you get the chance.

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