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By far, the most welcome surprise this year in terms of news is the word today that "Escape From Tomorrow" will be getting a theatrical release in October.
I'm going to be reaching out to the filmmakers to talk to them about the lengthy process they've gone through since Sundance as they've worked to get this film released in some form, and I give huge credit to Cinetic Media for never giving up.
The story broke today courtesy of Steven Zeitchik at The LA Times, and it looks like it's going to be handled through PDA, which is the distribution arm of Cinetic, which was the company handling sales for the film when it showed up at Sundance this year. I was at the film's first public screening, and fifteen minutes into it, I was already convinced that the film would never play a movie theater in commercial release. It just didn't seem like there was any way Disney would ever allow it to happen.
The film has been re-edited since it made its debut, and it's almost fifteen minutes shorter. Some of those were pacing issues the filmmakers wanted to address, and I've heard there are some individual images that they removed so that Disney didn't have any legal ground to come after them. It's amazing to me that they're going to push forward with the release, since the movie was shot on Disney property without their knowledge or permission. Using both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, director Randy Moore crafted an effective and surreal look at what happens when the father of a family slowly loses his mind over the long final day he and his family share at Disney.
If all the film had going for it was the backstory about how they made the film, I wouldn't be this excited about it getting a release. I really like the movie, though. I think it's fascinating, and I think it does tap into some very potent and interesting ideas about manufactured fun. It's going to be interesting to see how people react to the film overall.
Here's what you see if you go to the film's official site right now, and I have to say… I've never been happier to see someone pull a quote from one of my reviews:
October 11th looks like the date you can expect to see the film, and I can't wait for the conversations we'll have afterwards.
Here's my Sundance review.