The Festival (review)

The targets are obvious and easy — neurotic filmmakers, trust-fund kids, self-involved actors — but the touch is light enough to keep this made-for-cable mockumentary series from devolving into its own kind of self-parody. Indie director Rufus Marquez (Nicholas Wright) brings his film, The Unreasonable Truth of Butterflies, to the 13th annual Mountain United Film Festival, but nothing goes as he hopes it would. Six twenty-minute mockumentary episodes, which first aired on the IFC Channel, spoof corporate sponsorship, shady financial backers, festival organizers, and gloriously clueless artsy types. But the parody verges on the pathetic at times — we like Rufus and don’t really want to see his innocence shattered, which draws this series into a twilight zone of discomfort that never quite allows you to laugh at its characters, but ends up asking you, sideways-wise, to share their pain. The bare-bones presentation eschews extras. [buy at Amazon]

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