Found Footage Festival

Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett scour the depths of VHS so you don’t have to.

You might be forgiven if the words “found footage festival” conjure up a marathon of Blair Witch Project ripoffs, but you should never forgive yourself if you miss the actual Found Footage Festival. Founded in 2004 by hosts Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett, the festival is a hilarious presentation of excerpted footage from VHS tapes acquired in thrift stores, garage sales, and dumpsters across our mouth-breathing nation. This year’s show promises to feature a collection of videos from the Golden Age of the Satanic Panic including “The Law Enforcement Guide to Satanic Cults,” a star-studded Desert Storm “Welcome Home” parade, and, most intriguingly, tidbits from David Letterman’s personal VHS collection, donated to the Festival upon Letterman’s retirement.

Prueher and Pickett, they’ve got connections! And they’ve also got legal problems: the dad-bod pranksters appeared on morning news shows over the past year as the fake strongman duo Chop and Steele, and after posting clips online, the parent company of one of the stations filed suit in federal court for “copyright infringement, fraud, and conspiracy.” So, in addition to just being a celebration of American culture at its stooopidest, the Found Footage Festival is also a proponent of free speech and Fair Use. And if past years are any indication, there will be flaccid penises onscreen.

Found Footage Festival
Opens Friday at the Roxie Theater.

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