Fantastic Fest 2016 Review: ORIGINAL COPY

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)

For a festival started by a movie theater company who has a division dedicated to cinema art and posters (Mondo), I cannot think of a more appropriate movie that honors the art and discipline of movie banners.  In keeping with the Bollywood theme of this year’s fest, Original Copy is a documentary that takes place in the city of Mumbai where one of the few remaining 35 mm movie theaters struggles to stay in business.  

This ancient movie house continues the tradition of making its own movie posters and banners to promote their shows.  Artist Sheikh Rahman and his assistants create some truly remarkable pieces that involve much time, patience, and hard work.  Rahman feels that his work doesn’t deserve much credit and still longs to become a well-respected artist, despite the fact that his movie banners are absolutely incredible.  Still, he remains dedicated to his job and the quality of it and fears the eventual end of his career as the theater management can barely keep the doors open, the projector running, and the seats full.

Directed by Florian Heinzen-Ziob and George, Original Copy is a must see for cinephiles who can appreciate the work of artists who create the movie posters and banners promoting the films.  This documentary is a compelling and heavy-hearted portrait of a truly talented artist facing the end of his career and his reflection on the years dedicated to it.  It also gives audiences an in-depth look at Rahman’s meticulous process of creating his remarkable art work and provides a lovely showcase for it.  This excellent film went on to win the award for best documentary feature of the festival and directors Florian Heinzen-Ziob and Georges Heinzen won the award for best directors in the documentary feature category.

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