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Sundance Video: Doc Resurrect Dead Explores Toynbee Tiles, Wins Prize, Kickstarter Raises $13,000

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood January 30, 2011 at 1:39AM

One of the surprise word-of-mouth hits at Sundance comes from an unexpected source: first-time filmmaker Jon Foy, of Philadelphia, who landed in the Sundance competition with Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. Veteran doc filmmaker Doug Block (Home Page, The Kids Grow Up), who runs the doc community site The D-Word, got a call from the rookie Philadelphia filmmaker and film school dropout, seeking advice. He had been toiling away for more than five years on a doc about the Toynbee Tiles, which crop up embedded in roads around the country, from the North East spreading all the way to South America, inspiring many theories about their origin. UPDATE: The doc won the best directing documentary prize Saturday at Sundance.
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Thompson on Hollywood

One of the surprise word-of-mouth hits at Sundance comes from an unexpected source: first-time filmmaker Jon Foy, of Philadelphia, who landed in the Sundance competition with Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. Veteran doc filmmaker Doug Block (Home Page, The Kids Grow Up), who runs the doc community site The D-Word, got a call from the rookie Philadelphia filmmaker and film school dropout, seeking advice. He had been toiling away for more than five years on a doc about the Toynbee Tiles, which crop up embedded in roads around the country, from the North East spreading all the way to South America, inspiring many theories about their origin. UPDATE: The doc won the best directing documentary prize Saturday at Sundance.

Here's the Sundance page, indieWIRE page, and fest reviews from THR and Salt Lake City Tribune.

As Foy obsessively worked on the doc, he lived on food stamps, did odd jobs cleaning houses, and was rejected by a couple of festivals. When he was accepted by Sundance, he couldn't afford the $150 entrance fee. Block was riveted by the movie and took it on as exec producer, helping Foy to start a Kickstarter campaign which just passed its target of $10,000 on Saturday, January 29. Block called Submarine's Josh Braun who agreed to sell the film at Sundance, where Block housed Foy and his pad of 20 guys at a condo. He functioned as Foy's "career counselor, coach, therapist and hand-holder," he says.

Here's the Kickstarter campaign pitch:

This article is related to: Festivals, Genres, Video, Sundance, Independents, Documentaries, Trailers


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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.