In 1975, Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky, whose films EL TOPO and THE HOLY MOUNTAIN launched and ultimately defined the midnight movie phenomenon, began work on his most ambitious project yet. Starring his own 12 year old son Brontis alongside Orson Welles, Mick Jagger, David Carradine and Salvador Dali, featuring music by Pink Floyd and art by some of the most provocative talents of the era, including HR Giger and Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud, Jodorowsky’s adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic sci-fi novel DUNE was poised to change cinema forever.
For two years, Jodo and his team of “spiritual warriors” worked night and day on the massive task of creating the fabulous world of DUNE: over 3,000 storyboards, numerous paintings, incredible costumes, and an outrageous, moving and powerful script.
In the words of Jodorowsky’s producer, Michel Seydoux, “It should have been enough. But it wasn’t.”
Through interviews with legends and luminaries including HR Giger (artist, ALIEN), Gary Kurtz (producer, STAR WARS) and Nicolas Winding Refn (director, DRIVE and ONLY GOD FORGIVES), and an intimate and honest conversation with Jodorowsky filmed over the course of three years, director Pavich’s film - featuring never-before-seen realizations of Jodo’s mind- blowing psychedelic space opera (animated by Emmy Award nominated Syd Garon) - finally unearths the full saga of ‘The Greatest Movie Never Made’.
The story of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s journey to make his version of DUNE intrigued me for many reasons. Every day, countless film projects wither away and die before being fully realized. Usually all that’s left are some screenplay drafts and perhaps a wish list of actors. Rarely do you encounter a project that was so very close to being fully realized.
The tale of Jodorowsky and his DUNE is a fascinating trip through creativity and imagination, a story about the relentless pursuit of a dream, and the necessity of art. This is not the story of a failure. In fact, it’s just the opposite – it is the story of an artist who turns a potential negative into a grand success and moves forward with an unending evolution of ideas and drive, well into his 80s.
This is a film about a unique ambition: the ambition to change the world through art.
Frank Pavich (Director/Producer) directed the cult-underground music documentary N.Y.H.C. when he was just 22 years old. Following that, he co-produced DIE MOMMIE DIE! (Special Jury Prize - Sundance 2003). JODOROWSKY'S DUNE is Pavich's first feature and it had its premiere in Cannes at the 2013 Quinzaine des Realizateurs.
Stephen Scarlata (Producer) worked with Frank Pavich on the cult-underground music documentary N.Y.H.C. Scarlata has focused on feature screenplays; recently winning a Hollywood Scriptwriting Institute contest with his original script, POACH. Scarlata’s recent writing credits include the Tyler Shields-directed horror film FINAL GIRL starring Abigail Breslin and Alison Eastwood.
Donald Rosenfeld (Executive Producer), from 1987 to 1998, was president of Merchant Ivory Prods, producing the critically acclaimed and award-winning films HOWARDS END, MR. & MRS. BRIDGE and THE REMAINS OF THE DAY. He also produced Chris Munch's COLOR OF A BRISK AND LEAPING DAY (Cinematography Award - Sundance 1996), FORTY SHADES OF BLUE (Grand Jury Prize - Sundance 2005), as well as the award-winning documentary films, NEW YORK, ANDY WARHOL and EUGENE O'NEILL directed by Ric Burns. His most recent productions include Terrence Malick's TREE OF LIFE (2011 Palm d'Or winner), and EFFIE GRAY, starring Dakota Fanning, Emma Thompson, Derek Jacobi, Robbie Coltrane, James Fox, Julie Waters and Claudia Cardinale.
Michel Seydoux (Co-Producer) and his company Camera One have over 40 years of experience in the film industry, producing such classics as CYRANO DE BERGERAC starring Gerard Depardieu, the Oscar-winning BURNT BY THE SUN and Peter Greenaway's competition at the 2011 Cannes International Film Festival. Seydoux also produced Alejandro Jodorowsky's first feature film in 23 years, LA DANZA DE LA REALIDAD (aka THE DANCE OF REALITY.)
Travis Stevens (Associate Producer) founded Snowfort Pictures, a boutique production company specializing in the development, financing and production of commercial genre films in 2010. The company’s first production was Adam Wingard’s A HORRIBLE WAY TO DIE (2010 Toronto International Film Festival). Other Snowfort productions include the SXSW 2013 Audience Award Winner CHEAP THRILLS, the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival and AFI Film Fest entry ALL IN ALL, the SXSW 2011 hit THE AGGRESSION SCALE and BIG ASS SPIDER! (SXSW 2013), from Epic Pictures Group.
David Cavallo (Cinematographer) shot the acclaimed feature documentary NOTHING CAN HURT ME: THE BIG STAR STORY as well as the upcoming independent feature, ANCHORS. In addition, he has shot many US television programs, music videos and commercials.
Paul Docherty (Editior) is an editor and digital animator whose work has aired on Discovery, A&E, PBS, VH1, and TLC. In a previous life he was a video games graphics designer who worked on over twenty home computers and console software titles for international companies such as Activision, Acclaim, and Virgin Software.
Alex Ricciardi (Editor) edited THE STAND UP (Official Selection Austin International Film Festival 2011) as well as the upcoming independent features ANCHORS and TURTLE ISLAND. He has also edited several US television programs and music videos and directed the web-series, GOOD WORK JOHNSON.
Syd Garon (Animator) directed the film WAVE TWISTERS (Sundance 2001; Best Midnight Movie prize at SXSW). His second feature, N.A.S.A. THE SPIRIT OF APOLLO, was codirected with Sam Spiegel. In 2012 he was nominated for an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Individual Achievement in a Craft: Graphic Design & Art Direction category for his title design and animation on the HBO documentary, SUPERHEROES.
Kurt Stenzel (Composer) founded the New York Hardcore band SIX AND VIOLENCE in 1985, notorious for theatrical stage shows involving actual violence, the smashing of televisions and the chainsawing of drums. Stenzel moved on to performing with vintage analog synthesizers with BEYOND-O-MATIC and SpacEKrafT, an ambient live music, video and tactile interactive performance art experience. JODOROWSKY’S DUNE is his first feature.
Damon Cook (Production Audio Supervisor) has recorded the audio for countless documentaries, both for television and feature films. In addition, he has produced the acclaimed documentaries SGT. FITCH and the cult-classic, OKIE NOODLING.
Jesse Flower-Ambroch (Supervising Sound Editor) is a New York-based sound editor, designer and mixer. His work has appeared in numerous commercials, short and feature length films and television series. His documentary short SHOKUNIN, which examines the art of traditional Japanese knife sharpening, premiered at 2012's DOC NYC festival and his work on the show KNICK'S POETRY SLAM earned him a NY Emmy nomination for best sound. He spends his spare time exploring and sharing sound's potential as a potent therapeutic and meditative tool.