Events on Monday, October 7, 2013
Bright Lights SPECIAL SCREENING: Escape From Tomorrow
Oct720137:00 pm - 9:00 pmParamount Center
Bright Family Screening Room
Sponsored by Department of Visual and Media Arts
Escape from Tomorrow is a 2013 American fantasy-horror film, the debut film of writer-director Randy Moore. It stars Roy Abramsohn as a man having increasingly disturbing experiences and visions during the last day of a family vacation at the Walt Disney World Resort. It premiered in January at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and on April 20, 2013, it was shown at Roger Ebert's 15th annual film festival in Champaign, Illinois, where the film was hand selected by Ebert just weeks before his death. The festival's program claims the film is "ultimately about the terror of ubiquitous entertainment."
The film is notable for the attention it received from the media since its debut at Sundance, particularly because Moore had shot the majority of the film on location at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland without permission from The Walt Disney Company, owner and operator of both parks. Due to Disney's reputation for being fiercely protective of its intellectual property, the cast and crew used guerrilla filmmaking techniques to avoid attracting attention, such as keeping their scripts on their iPhones and shooting on handheld video cameras similar to those used by park visitors. After principal photography was complete, Moore was so determined to keep the project a secret from Disney that he edited it in South Korea. Sundance similarly declined to discuss the film in detail before it was shown. It was called "the ultimate guerrilla film".
Critics who saw it at the festival were astonished by Moore's audacity but mostly praised the film artistically for its use of monochrome and surrealism to create a neo-noir effect. It has been compared to the work of Roman Polanski and David Lynch. However, many who saw it have expressed strong doubts that the film will be shown to a wider audience due to the legal issues involved and the negative depiction of the parks. At the time of its release, Disney said only that it was "aware" of the film; since then the online supplement to Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia has included an entry for the film. A simultaneous theatrical and video on-demand release is scheduled for October 11, 2013 through PDA, a Cinetic Media company.
Following the screening there will be a Skype Q&A with director Randy Moore.