The Doc Edge attendance of Brent Hodge with A Brony Tale looks like a very canny move. From its world premiere, it scores good reviews, Morgan Spurlock and a US distribution deal.
A Brony Tale premiered at Tribeca on the weekend, and is also set to play DOXA (in Hodge’s hometown Vancouver) ahead of its NZ appearances. The trip to NZ won’t be Hodge’s first, as he studied business at Otago University – which he credits with introducing him to filmmaking.
It’s a film about men who like – in a big way – My Little Pony. Happily, A Brony Tale is not revisiting the territory of Robinson Devor’s 2007 Zoo, which also dealt with human-equine “love”. No doubt someone will draw a link between its NZ selection in a festival which also contains a film titled SickFuckPeople.
So far, Hodge’s film seems to have moved easily beyond those knee-jerk reaction. It is, like many overnight successes, the product of a lot of hard work and a certain amount of good fortune – not least of which being that the film’s central character, My Little Pony voice artist Ashleigh Ball, is a longtime friend of Hodge.
A Brony Tale trailer
“A lot of festivals thought it wasn’t funny or that it was too weird,” Hodge said in an interview published today in the Vancouver Sun.
After a couple of years of trekking back and forth acrosss the US, shooting bronies (in the nicest possible way) and putting the film together, Hodge was having considerable difficulty placing it.
Once Tribeca said yes, things began to turn around.
Morgan ‘Super Size Me’ Spurlock, has done a deal with Hodge’s Hodgee Films to distribute A Brony Tale to US cinemas under a ‘Morgan Spurlock presents’ banner. Spurlock knows a thing or two about marketing, as his The Greatest Movie Ever Sold ably demonstrated.
A Brony Tale will be the first release under the banner. Despite bearing Spurlock’s name alone, the venture is a joint one between Spurlock’s production company Warrior Poets (Super Size Me), production company Virgil Films (Restrepo) and distribution company Abramorama (Exit through the Gift Shop).
The deal will put A Brony Tale into US cinemas in July. Doc Edge festival-goers get the chance to see it in Auckland 30 May and 1 June, with Hodge in attendance. It plays Wellington (without Hodge) 8 and 13 June.