"American Movie", Directed by Chris Smith, Is Released
American Movie is a 1999 documentary about the making of an independent film.
Milwaukee filmmaker Mark Borchardt feverishly works to finish his independent horror film Coven, but with poor financing and lack of planning finds it nearly impossible to complete. The documentary follows Borchardt's filmmaking process from script to screen, and is interspersed with footage from both developing projects. American Movie was produced by Sarah Price, edited by Jun Diaz and Barry Poltermann and directed by Chris Smith.
The film is subtitled "The Making of Northwestern", but only the first fifteen minutes of the film are about the making of Northwestern; the rest of the film centers on the making of Coven.
The film was awarded the Grand Jury Prize for Documentary at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival. In 2004, American Movie was named by the New York Times as one of the “1,000 Greatest Movies Ever Made” and the International Documentary Association named it as on of the top 20 documentaries of all time. In addition, the film was positively reviewed by various media outlets.