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Dennis Hopper's final film is nearly complete, but we need YOUR help for the final push!
Dennis Hopper's final film is nearly complete, but we need YOUR help for the final push!
506 backers pledged $109,202 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$109,202

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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!

Dennis Hopper has long been a hero of mine. He changed the face of independent filmmaking for generations to come with his groundbreaking and wildly successful film, Easy Rider, and gave fearless performances whether playing rebels in Apocalypse Now, Rebel Without A Cause and Giant, or villains in True Romance, Blue Velvet and Speed. He was always convincing and unforgettable.

Check out the teaser trailer below:

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Linda goes over Dennis' lines
Linda goes over Dennis' lines

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.

Hollywood bigwigs come into town
Hollywood bigwigs come into town

The making of The Last Film Festival was a group effort by cast and crew.  Everyone had busy schedules and the only way we could do it was if we all got together and worked for little, well actually at times, no money at all. 

We were able to recruit a very talented cast including Jacqueline Bisset, Joseph Cross, JoBeth Williams, Donnell Rawlings, Chris Kattan, Katrina Bowden and Leelee Sobieski and the film just took off! While the film was written for Dennis, it is very much an ensemble piece, and the actors were involved in creating and developing their characters and improvised a number of scenes. Not only did this make working on set incredibly fun, it also made the film natural, spontaneous, and full of wonderful chemistry, which we are so excited for you to see.

The oh so successful O'Hi Film Festival
The oh so successful O'Hi Film Festival

We shot in a local high school and, in lieu of expensive star trailers, everyone had their own classroom to use as a dressing room. The community pitched in serving as extras, buttressing the meager catering with homemade specialties, basically doing whatever they could to help us make the tight shooting schedule. It was truly a case of life imitating art, the unexpected challenges and struggles we faced were just like those Dennis’ character experiences in the film.

You can feel the energy when something is going to work and all of us felt that. It just worked: the chemistry between Jackie and Dennis during their funny yet poignant fights; the sharp edge Joe brought to his character of the Young Agent and the sexual pull between him and Katrina's sexy, smart Starlet; Chris and Donnell's hysterical improvisations; and JoBeth's repressed Mayor unable to restrain herself when Dennis' character seduces her - on the high school principal's desk! Throughout the shoot, Dennis was just like his character in the film, a father figure inspiring everyone to get the job done no matter what it takes.

Jacqueline Bisset and Dennis Hopper talk it over
Jacqueline Bisset and Dennis Hopper talk it over

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! 

Chris Kattan blows his horn
Chris Kattan blows his horn

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.  

Katrina Bowden shares moment with fan
Katrina Bowden shares moment with fan

We want everyone to see the same film that Dennis and I envisioned and hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it. The funds raised to finish the movie will pay for post-production costs including, among other things, obtaining the rights to use footage from other motion pictures that Dennis talks about in the film, color correction, SFX - and most importantly editing the movie so we can complete the film’s narrative without any new actors needed. We are already so close to finalizing the film and having it ready for Dennis' fans, we just need a little bit of help with post-production and distribution of the film.

The cast means business
The cast means business

This is an opportunity for fans of Dennis Hopper, fans of independent cinema, and fans of comedy to help get this film over the finish line. We feel it's our duty to present Dennis’ last artistic project to the public in a way that does justice to his illustrious career and pays homage to the brilliant artist he was. 

For all his successes, Dennis was a true independent spirit. He would have loved the concept of Kickstarter to join forces with the people. There's just one piece of the puzzle missing - you!

Dennis smokes his favorite cigar
Dennis smokes his favorite cigar
 

If we reach our goal, the funding will set our post-production process into motion very quickly. We have a six-week plan for finishing the film that would allow us to get the film to festivals in 2015.

The amount of money we receive will determine how fast the movie will get out to theaters and have worldwide premieres on big and small screens. The goal we are hoping to reach will allow us to finish The Last Film Festival and go directly to film festivals where we'll be seen by audiences and potential distributors alike. 

Leelee Sobieski does some detective work
Leelee Sobieski does some detective work

We will update our Kickstarter supporters to let them know when The Last Film Festival will be at a festival and where it is being shown. Although a number of distributors in different countries have expressed interest in the film, without the finished product we can’t say with certainty at this time where or when it will be released beyond the film festivals. We will let our Kickstarter backers know when distribution deals are being made and when The Last Film Festival will be released in your area.

I am an American director, writer and producer best known for my work in television and independent film. My projects have won numerous awards, including two Peabodys, seven Emmys, one Luminas, one Silver Nymph and two Christophers. They have been screened at the Sundance, Cannes, Toronto, New York, Aspen, Palm Springs, Hamptons, Nashville, Banff and Deauville film festivals.

Linda Yellen on set
Linda Yellen on set

The Last Film Festival is blessed with an amazing cast and crew who worked hard to make this the best film possible. Below are some of the talented actors who were involved in filming the movie.

The rewards we've chosen are unique and special to this project and we think there's something in there for everyone. Whether you are a fan of Dennis Hopper, a fan of independent cinema, or even a fan of Hollywood, art, fashion, or filmmaking, there's something in there for you! For the more adventurous Dennis fans, there are also a couple of curveballs in there, so look out for these as well.

Most importantly, we are giving people the opportunity to see The Last Film Festival. Sharing Dennis' last film is dear to our hearts and what drew us to Kickstarter to begin with. 

What is Jacqueline Bisset thinking?
What is Jacqueline Bisset thinking?

Risks and challenges

Our goal is to bring The Last Film Festival to the public the way it was meant to be seen when we filmed it. We want you to see the film that Dennis and the rest of us had so much fun making. Although we could go down the traditional route in pursuit of funding, that would involve compromises we aren't willing to make. We want to preserve the original vision of the film and begin showing it at film festivals in 2015.

Since we are so far along in completing the film, we face fewer risks than many films seeking funding on Kickstarter. Once the money is raised we will be able to move full-speed ahead to complete the post-production work and head straight for the film festivals.

One of our challenges will be reaching older Dennis Hopper fans who might not be as media savvy as many Kickstarter users, so we are relying on your help to spread the word to them!
We also face the challenge that many other projects face of delivering rewards on time. While we are confident that we have built in enough time including delivery, we realize that some unforeseen delays could arise. If that happened, we would let people know and hope for their understanding, but with your support, we see clear skies ahead!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    HALL OF FAME - We cannot thank you enough for your support! You will receive all the updates on the project and exclusive video content and will also be listed in the credits on our website! Thanks for believing in us!

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    PDF SCRIPT - You’ll get a PDF of the script on the day of the film's release as well as behind-the-scenes updates on production status.

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    SOUNDTRACK - We love our soundtrack and we believe you will too! Stream the soundtrack to your computer ahead of the film's release.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF THE FILM - You will receive a digital download of The Last Film Festival to be enjoyed at home or with friends! (Please do not duplicate or distribute. This film has been years in the making and deserves more!)

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    T-SHIRT DESIGN - You will receive a limited edition T-Shirt featuring the designs from the set of The Last Film Festival, artwork by Kathleen Whelen.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    T-SHIRT DESIGN - Due to popular demand we have added more T-SHIRT DESIGN pledges. You will receive a limited edition T-Shirt featuring the designs from the set of The Last Film Festival, artwork by Kathleen Whelen.

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    DVD - You get the DVD copy of The Last Film Festival and exclusive behind the scenes footage before anyone else (you lucky dog)!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    BUNDLE PACK - You will receive the Digital Download of the film, the Soundtrack, a PDF of the script AND the Hall of Fame pledge! Now that's what we call a bundle!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    POSTER - We want to share with you some of the wonderful designs from the set of The Last Film Festival, courtesy of Kathleen Whelen. These are frameable and perfect for film buffs and to show off to family and friends.

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    VIP SCREENING AND Q&A IN LONDON - Attend an exclusive screening of the film in London and enjoy a Q&A with the director Linda Yellen after the film.

    Transportation to event not included.

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    VIP SCREENING AND Q&A IN LA - Attend an exclusive screening of the film in LA and enjoy a Q&A with the director Linda Yellen after the film.

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    VIP SCREENING AND Q&A IN NEW YORK - Attend an exclusive screening of the film in New York and enjoy a Q&A with the director Linda Yellen after the film.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    VISIT DENNIS' COMPOUND - See the residential/work compound Dennis built in Venice, California. Tour the building Frank Gehry designed.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    SIGNED POSTER - Not only are you getting the best poster in town, but it’s also signed by cast and crew! Including Joseph Cross, JoBeth Williams, Jacqueline Bissett, Linda Yellen, and cinematographer Mauricio Rubenstein,

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    SIGNED DENNIS HOPPER CATALOG - Courtesy of the Gagosian Gallery in London, signed catalog of photos from Dennis Hopper’s 2014 "Drugstore Camera” Exhibition, featuring exclusive photographs and content and signed by Linda Yellen.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    SIGNED HEADSHOT - You will receive a limited edition signed photo from your choice of Jacqueline Bisset, Chris Kattan , Donnell Rawlings, JoBeth Williams or Joseph Cross. Something great to highlight your contribution to The Last Film Festival.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    SPECIAL THANKS - We want to give back by prominently highlighting your name (or a loved one) in the Special Thanks in the credits of The Last Film Festival. You will also receive our genuine thanks on IMDB.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    SPECIAL THANKS - Due to popular demand we have added more SPECIAL THANKS rewards, and want to give back by prominently highlighting your name (or a loved one) in the Special Thanks in the credits of The Last Film Festival. You will also receive our genuine thanks on IMDB.

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    PRODUCTION EXECUTIVE - Imagine your name in lights! Your name will in the film credits as an Production Executive and you will receive an Production Executive credit on IMDB.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    GET READY FOR OUR DATEBOO! - While Donnell Rawlings tours the US, he's making himself available for 5 lucky backers! This is your chance to grill him on everything from The Last Film Festival to life on Chappelle's Show. His stops along the way include: Palm Beach, Detroit, Buffalo, Nashville, San Antonio, Bellevue,WA, Baltimore, Washington D.C.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    SOHO HOUSE LUNCH BUNDLE - Lunch is on us when you meet Director Linda Yellen at the famous Soho House in NYC. Plus, you'll also receive a Digital Download or Signed DVD + PDF of script + Hall of Fame + a VIP ticket to a screening of your choice.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    SKYPE WITH THE LEGENDARY DEAN STOCKWELL - Dean Stockwell was a lifelong, close friend of Dennis Hopper. He worked with Dennis in The Last Movie and Blue Velvet. Like Dennis, Dean has a home in Taos, New Mexico, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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    Pledge $4,000 or more About $4,000

    DINNER WITH THE STARS - You get to have a wonderful dinner with Jacqueline Bisset in Los Angeles, and find out more about what it was like being involved in Dennis Hopper’s last film. Don’t worry kid, we got the bill.

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    RENT YOUR LOCAL THEATER - We rent out your local theater and gather your friends and Dennis Hopper fans together, for an exclusive screening of the film.

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    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER - Imagine your name in lights! Your name will be listed in the film as an Associate Producer and you will receive an Associate Producer credit on IMDB.

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    CO-PRODUCER - Hey big spender! You will be credited as a co-producer of the film! Your name will be in the credits and you will also be credited on IMDB. Welcome to the big time!

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    DINE LIKE A STAR! - New York City's LE VEAU D'OR has been the "in" place dating back to the 1930s. Loved by celebrities like Orson Welles, Marlene Dietrich, Truman Capote, Grace Kelly and modern day stars including our very own Dennis Hopper!
    It's dinner for four on us, and you will each leave with your very own The Last Film Festival Goodie Bag, plus 4 tickets to a VIP Screening in the city of your choice!

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Funding period

- (30 days)