Canadian doc Elliot wins Slamdance Jury Award

The documentary about aspiring filmmaker Elliot "White Lightening" Scott had two sold-out screenings at Slamdance.
Elliot documentary

A surprised Jaret Belliveau on Friday recalled the moment Thursday night when he and fellow Elliot director Matthew Bauckman knew they’d won the jury documentary award at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

“They started reading the description of our film, and we thought, I guess that’s us,” Belliveau told Playback.

The Canadian documentary about aspiring filmmaker Elliot “White Lightening” Scott, who imagines himself as the successor to Jackie Chan or Chuck Norris, had two sold-out screenings at Slamdance.

“People got the movie and it was pretty amazing to see,” Belliveau remembered, adding he and Bauckman heard buzz and conversations about the film in the festival hallways and on Park City streets.

The Moncton, N.B. director explained that during screenings, audiences at first root for Elliot as he claims to be a Canadian karate champion and action hero at work on a low budget genre pic, Blood Fight. But as that boast is challenged, audiences are drawn further into Elliot’s increasingly made-up world as he, his supportive partner Linda Lum, and their cast and crew, struggle to continue with the project.

“The movie is challenging. For us, it’s a complete shock,” Belliveau said the morning after the prize giving in Park City.

For their Slamdance win, Belliveau and Bauckman earned $3,500 in legal services from Pierce Law Group, and $5,000 in film from Kodak.

Both directors also shot and edited the film, and were mentored by producer David Ebert.

“[David] came on eight months ago. Slamdance was the first time we met in person, as we’d been working via Skype and David was a huge reason why this movie is what it is,” Belliveau said.

Elliot has yet to secure a commercial distribution.