Things had been going slowly for the guys at BadFritter Films, a Whitefish film company that shot its latest movie, Paper Dolls, in and around the town last summer. They’d been turned down by distributors and rejected by several film festivals.
But expectations rose in September when the Eerie Horror Film Festival, in Erie, Penn. accepted the film and gave it a screening.
Adam Pitman, the movie’s co-director and lead actor, says festival president Greg Ropp told them he really liked Paper Dolls when he invited them to Erie, but he also threw cold water on their expectations before the winners were announced on Oct. 13, saying “Oh, you guys, I hope you’re not disappointed. Don’t get your hopes up too much.”
Turns out, Ropp was putting them on.
“We pretty much swept all the awards,” Pitman told the Indy from the airport in Cleveland, Ohio. “I got best actor, and we got best director and best feature out of about 500 films.”
Paper Dolls had its world premier after the awards were presented, and with the buzz generated by multiple honors, Pitman says BadFritter packed the first public screening with about 300 people.
“It was pretty awesome,” he says.
While no films from the Eerie Horror Film Festival have ever hit the big time, a few of them, including The Dark Hours and The Last Horror Movie, have gotten distribution deals, according to Ropp.
Ropp says he has really high expectations for Paper Dolls, which he calls “amazing.”
“I really feel as though this could potentially be the next Blair Witch Project if it was handled correctly,” Ropp says. “I’m not saying I’d compare the two movies. It was just that seriously original. It really stood out.”
Next Blair Witch Project or not, getting a distribution deal for Paper Dolls is what BadFritter is focusing on now.
“That’s what we’re all waiting for,” says Pitman.
He says the film’s performance at the festival brings them one step closer.