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Sundance and SXSW Factual Thriller 'The Imposter' Goes to Indomnia; Reviews

Thompson on Hollywood By Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood February 21, 2012 at 5:03PM

The Indomina Group has picked up A&E IndieFilms' "The Imposter" for North American distribution. The Sundance entry is also set to play SXSW. Check out the synopsis for the factual thriller below. “Few documentaries are able to draw you in and keep you captivated in the way that 'The Imposter' does,” says Indomina's Jasbinder Singh Mann.
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"The Imposter"
"The Imposter"

The Indomina Group has picked up A&E IndieFilms' "The Imposter" for North American distribution. The Sundance entry is also set to play SXSW. Check out the synopsis for the factual thriller below. “Few documentaries are able to draw you in and keep you captivated in the way that 'The Imposter' does,” says Indomina's Jasbinder Singh Mann.

The film was produced by Dimitri Doganis and executive produced by John Battsek ("The Tillman Story," "One Day in September"), Academy-Award-winner Simon Chinn ("Project Nim," "Man on Wire"), A&E IndieFilms’ Bob DeBitetto ("The Tillman Story," "The September Issue") and Molly Thompson ("Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer," "Jesus Camp") and Katherine Butler ("Tyrannosaur," "Kill List") of Film4 and Tabitha Jackson ("Cave of Forgotten Dreams") of Channel 4.

The Imposter is a chilling factual thriller that chronicles the story of a 13-year-old boy who disappears without a trace from San Antonio, Texas in 1994.  Three and a half years later he is found alive, thousands of miles away in a village in southern Spain with a story of kidnapping and torture. His family is overjoyed to bring him home. But all is not quite as it seems. The boy bears many of the same distinguishing marks he always had, but why does he now have a strange accent? Why does he look so different? And why doesn’t the family seem to notice these glaring inconsistencies? It’s only when an investigator starts asking questions that this strange tale takes an even stranger turn.
 
The stranger-than-fiction mystery, which features many twists and turns, is told in a cinematic language that combines documentary and stylized visualizations. Perception is challenged at every turn, and just as the truth begins to dawn on you, another truth emerges leaving you even more on edge.

Here's The Guardian:

"This documentary begins in mystery and ends in horror -- a disturbing vision of the lengths we go to, to fool ourselves."

THR:

"Documentary seems an inadequate term to describe Bart Layton's densely plotted true-crime thriller, which mixes interviews with dramatizations to tell the gripping story of a 23-year-old French-Algerian who assumed the identity of a Texan teenager."

The Playlist:

"A documentary about a family stricken with tragedy that unwittingly takes in a con artist, director Bart Layton tells an almost too-amazing-to-be-true story that creates a truth, establishes sympathies and then razes everything we think we know. A remarkable, entertaining and even sometimes shocking film, 'The Imposter' utilizes reenactments and first-person interview footage to create a vivid account of a story whose actual details seem impossible to parse out from an entanglement of the participants’ recollections, feelings and most unexpectedly of all, their hopes about what actually happened."

This article is related to: News, News, Documentary, Documentaries, Reviews, Reviews, Independents


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.