Private Project

Actor Martinez

Being in show business is tough, but being an actor in Denver is tougher, so when performer and full-time computer repairman, Arthur Martinez, hires two indie filmmakers to make a feature film with him as the lead, he realizes he’s in over his head. “You guys have ruined my life,” Arthur says one moment immediately following with, “This is the best film I’ll ever be in.” The filmmakers scrap the genre film Arthur had intended them to make — instead quickly designing an entirely new project based around his real-life persona, which becomes more and more elusive as the production steams ahead. Once Arthur realizes what the filmmakers are up to, his protective measure is to hide behind a mask, keeping the filmmakers questioning: are any of Arthur’s moments on camera truthful or is it all just a performance in the end?

  • Mike Ott
    Lake Los Angeles, Pearblossom Hwy, Little Rock
  • Nathan Silver
    Stinking Heavan, Uncertain Terms, Soft in the Head
  • Britta Erickson
    Rolling Papers, Convention
  • Katie Shapiro
    Rolling Papers
  • Patrick Hackett
  • Heika Burnison
    Lake Los Angeles, Pearblossom Hwy
  • Lindsay Burdge
    Key Cast
    The Invitation, A Teacher, 6 Years, The Midnight Swim
  • Arthur Martinez
    Key Cast
  • Mike Ott
    Key Cast
  • Nathan Silver
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 15 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    December 1, 2015
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • International Film Festival Rotterdam
    January 28, 2016
    World Premiere
  • Tribeca Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    April 14, 2016
    North American Premiere
  • American Film Festival/US in Progress
    October 28, 2015
    Polish Distribution Prize
Director Biography - Mike Ott, Nathan Silver

Mike Ott studied under Thom Andersen at Cal Arts where he received his MFA degree in Film/Video. He recently completed his desert trilogy which includes the films: Littlerock, Pearblossom Hwy, and Lake Los Angeles. Mike’s films have won numerous awards, including an Audience Award at AFI Fest, a Gotham Award and an Independent Spirit Award.

Nathan Silver graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2005. Since then he has written and directed five short films and six feature films, including Soft in the Head (2013), Uncertain Terms (2014), and Stinking Heaven (2015). His films have played in countless festivals around the world, including Locarno, New York, Rotterdam, Viennale, Vancouver, AFI, Torino, Munich, and BAFICI and venues including MoMA and the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York City.

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Director Statement

The film is inspired by our shared obsession with Iranian cinema, most notably Close-Up by Abbas Kiarostami. Working from a two-page outline only, we went to great lengths to try and merge fiction and nonfiction by using a cinematic language that is so vibrant and distinct to Iranian cinema. Scenes shot with a locked off camera and slow zooms create a seamless blurring of reality. It’s often difficult to decipher what you’re actually watching, leaving the viewer wondering where the truth lies.