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Kickstarter Spotlight: Dennis Hopper’s Final Film, ‘The Last Film Festival’
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Dennis Hopper in The Last Film Festival

Almost five years ago now, Dennis Hopper passed away at the age of 74 after a lengthy battle with cancer. But before Hopper departed, he made one final film, an indie flick titled The Last Film Festival, in which he plays a Hollywood producer trying to get his latest flop of a movie into any film festival that will accept it…which as it turns out is only one.

The movie has already been filmed for the most part, but production ended when Hopper died, just before his role was set to wrap up. For the fifth anniversary of his passing director Linda Yellen wants to finish and release the movie this year, but some additional funding is required to make it happen.

To get the movie completed a Kickstarter campaign was created to include Hopper’s fans and avoid certain obstacles. You can read more about how Hopper came to be involved in the project, what the movie is about, why your help is needed, and also watch the Kickstarter video below.

Here’s Yellen telling the story of how Hopper became involved in The Last Film Festival:

A number of years ago I was lucky enough to meet Dennis at the legendary Sundance Film Festival. We spent a lot of time laughing at the excitement, extravagance, and chaos of it all. Sundance is simply one of the best film festivals in the world, and I wondered what the worst would be like? Dennis turned to me and said “that’s a great idea kid, you write the script and I’ll do it.” And he did!

And here’s a rundown of what the movie is about:

The Last Film Festival is a feature length comedy starring Dennis Hopper, written by myself and Michael Leeds. Dennis plays Nick Twain, a big-time Hollywood Producer whose latest flop of a film has been rejected by every film festival in the world except the O’Hi Film Festival.

O’Hi is a small town with big dreams, whose film-loving Undertaker has persuaded the Mayor to host the event in the local high school. But Nick Twain will do anything to get his film distributed, so in a last-ditch effort for publicity Twain and his dysfunctional cast and crew descend on the town.

Hollywood egos collide with small town politics and by the time the award for Best Picture is announced, long-held secrets have been revealed, unexpected romances ignited and the answer to the big mystery solved.

Lastly, why they’re looking to Kickstarter for a little extra coin:

Filming on the picture came to a halt almost five years ago when Dennis tragically died at age 74 from cancer. He was just a few scenes short of completing work on the film, and had already seen a rough cut and loved it.

The grief we felt, paired with certain creative and financial issues that remained unsolved with his passing, prompted us to put completion of the project on hold.

As May 2015 will mark the fifth anniversary of Dennis’ death, we want to release the movie to the public this year. With so many people continuing to write and ask us how and when they can see the film, we’ve decided now is the time to kick post-production into overdrive so we can finish the film once and for all – but we need your support!

We’re reaching out to film fans here on Kickstarter as other investment offers have come with a number of unwelcome demands, including cutting certain scenes, altering the film’s score, and even changing Dennis Hopper’s voice!

We decided that the best way to finance the remaining work on the film, while still maintaining the creative vision we and Dennis shared, was to enlist your help. We feel a Kickstarter campaign is a great way to include Dennis’ fans in the process of finishing the film and to reach our goal of bringing this iconic performance to the big screen.

The goal was only $90,000—a lot of money to most of us, sure, but not too much to ask when it comes to crowdfunding—and at they’ve actually already hit that mark. At the start of the writing of this spotlight the campaign was still $20,000 short of their goal, and the plan was to post it for the final stretch it hopes of giving it a boost. As it turns out, a nice surge recently shot it past its goal. And that’s good! Of course. But all of that said, it is still only a few thousand past its goal at the moment. And with only a week or so remaining, every little bit will still help.

If interested, you can read more about The Last Film Festival, watch a trailer, and throw a few bucks its way over at its Kickstarter campaign page.


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