Thus far, only audiences at film festivals and special events have bren able to see RFA (Radio Free Albemuth) on the big screen - events like the Philip K. Dick Conference, the Hugo Awards at Worldcon and Science Fiction Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at the EMP Museum in Seattle and - the - Indie Night Series at Lincoln Center Film Society in New York. Despite great reviews and enthusiastic response at screenings, traditional companies simply haven’t offered us the kind of distribution that would connect to the audience we believe is out there for Radio Free Albemuth.
Nearly all previous Philip K. Dick movies have been big budget studio-level movies – e.g.Blade Runner, Minority Report, Adjustment Bureau, Total Recall. Terrific as many of these are in their own right, writer/director John Alan Simon felt that with the exception of the animated A Scanner Darkly, none has yet captured the essence of Philip K. Dick's (PKD) slightly paranoid, darkly humorous, and above all, tender view of the human condition.
The goal set was to make the kind of movie that readers of PKD's science-fiction would want to see. Not just one of his incredible “high-concept” ideas reduced to a conventional action-adventure plot.
The central fictional aspect is one of the most important events in the author's real life – what he came to believe was actual contact with the extraterrestrial entity he termed VALIS– Vast Active Living Intelligent System. (The Exegesis published last year is the condensed volume of PKD’s million-word journal during this period.)
In the alternate reality past of RFA, America is fast approaching a police state helmed by a Nixon-like President Fremont (Scott Wilson), now serving a fourth term in office chasing after a shadowy terrorist organization called Aramchek – that may or may not exist.
A record store clerk in Berkeley named Nick Brady (Jonathan Scarfe) begins to have visions and embarks upon a plan to overthrow the government with the help of a mysterious woman named Silvia (Alanis Morissette) and his skeptical best friend—science fiction writer Philip K. Dick himself (Shea Whigham).
RFA’s theme of the value of the individual against the supremacy of the state remains as relevant today as when the novel was published in 1985. Like Orwell's "1984" or Huxley's "Brave New World," PKD's "Radio Free Albemuth" has the artistic power to speak to succeeding historical circumstances and new generations. PKD's prescience resonates today with political events as widely disparate as the Arab Spring, Wikileaks, the rise of the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement.
RFA is also a movie for people who appreciate music. The story’s backdrop is the music business in Los Angeles. Alanis Morissette plays a lead role and performs an original song integral to the story. The critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Robyn Hitchcock gave us nine songs and contributed to the score with the amazing piano virtuososo, composer Ralph Grierson. Often heard on KCRW in Los Angeles –The Good Listeners also perform in the film.
Radio Free Albemuth has already been embraced by the Philip K. Dick community of fans and scholars and gotten a great review in Variety.
" Engrossing! Delivers satisfying intrigue and suspense. Should connect strongly with Dick's fanbase and upscale auds seeking sci-fi with political and philosophical substance."
-- Richard Kuipers, Variety
"In our view, the best adaptation of PKD’s work to screen by far!"
-- Louis Savy, Sci-Fi London
Five stars! This film has soul! You don’t have to be a fan of Philip K. Dick or science fiction to enjoy. Don’t miss it! "
-- Leon Marvell, Arts Hub Australia
You can read more Radio Free Albemuth reviews here.
We’ll release Radio Free Albemuth theatrically across the U.S. with writer/director John Alan Simon and cast hitting as many playdates as possible for Q&A’s and special events.
Even this kind of hand-crafted release involves signficiant costs - Theatre Bookings, Advertising, Publicity, Marketing materials, Travel. But with a little more dedicated effort on our behalf – and your pledges – RFA will be coming soon to a reality near you!
We also plan to release on DVD, Cable, VOD, and on digital outlets like Netflix, iTunes, and Hulu.
We've carefully studied and embraced the new paradigm of Hybrid Distribution. We're utilizing social media to enlist the communities of PKD, science-fiction, indie film enthusiasts and others to participate in our theatrical release, then partner with established distribution channels for video and digital.
We’re working with collaborators like New Zealand game designer Steve Hickey and others to prepare the kind of imaginative, mind-bending interactions that the visionary work of Philip K. Dick deserves. Plus panels on PKD and other outside-the box events to make each city’s screening a special event.
That’s where you come in.
We can’t do it without you!
And in appreciation for your generous support we have thank-you gifts like special limited signed editions of the script, props from the set, poster artwork, special parties and premieres and one-on-one meetings with the filmmakers and the composer. Plus all backers get special access to behind-the-scenes clips with actors and deleted scenes that haven’t seen the light of day – yet!
Kickstarter is all or nothing. So if we don’t reach our goal, we get zip and you don’t get any thank you gifts or premiums. And - worst of all - you may never get to see the movie.
Every little bit helps, even if it's passing this on to your friends who like inde film, science fiction and Philip K. Dick. Email them, tweet it, blog about it, talk about it, share onFacebook, tumblr, google+, pinterest, instagram - everywhere!
Together we can do something very special.
How many people can say they had a hand in bringing a PKD movie to the screen?
Join the conspiracy to bring PKD’s brilliant and subversive message of hope to audiences throughout America – and then the world!
Radio Free Albemuth Website