New York’s legendary video rental store Kim’s Video is getting the feature documentary treatment.
“Kim’s Video,” which will open the Sundance Film Festival’s NEXT section, is produced by Fremantle and Carnivalesque Films, and will unearth the stranger-than-fiction story behind the New York cornerstone’s vast collection of movies.
The documentary is directed by award-winning filmmakers David Redmon and Ashley Sabin (“Girl Model”), and executive produced by Fremantle’s head of global documentaries Mandy Chang (“Collective,” “Writing With Fire”).
“Kim’s Video” follows modern-day cinephile and filmmaker David Redmon on a quixotic quest to track down the whereabouts of the massive video collection of the now-defunct Kim’s Video, an iconic NYC video rental store with more than 55,000 beloved and rare movies.
Playing with the forms and tropes of cinema, David’s bizarre and increasingly obsessive quest takes him to Sicily, where he becomes entangled in a web of local politics, and to South Korea, where he tracks down the enigmatic Mr. Kim in the hope of influencing the collection’s future.
Chang, head of global documentaries at Fremantle and executive producer on “Kim’s Video,” said: “When we saw this quirky feature documentary pitched by David and Ashley at the DIG Festival in Modena, we fell in love with the idea of it. Mr. Kim’s Video Store, which originally opened in 1984 inside a dry-cleaning business on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, was a magnet for filmmakers and film lovers. Big-name directors, like Scorsese, Tarantino and the Coen Brothers, were members of this iconic institution.
“When the video rental era ended and films found their way online, Mr. Kim’s store closed, and the main collection ended up in the town of Salemi in southern Italy. David’s obsession to discover the fate of those videos intrigued us, as did the enigmatic Mr. Kim, and we jumped on board, keen to go on the journey and motivated, like David, by our own passion for cinema. The resulting film is a stranger-than-fiction odyssey that we hope will strike a chord with movie lovers everywhere.”
Redmon said: “I went to Sicily to rent a movie and then my life turned upside down!”
Sabin added: “One Saturday afternoon my partner David left home to rent a movie from Kim’s Video and he came back six years later with the wrong VHS! I told him to get a No Wave movie from the 1980s and he brought home a reality TV series.”
“Kim’s Video” is directed and produced by Redmon and Sabin for Carnivalesque Films. Chang and Bernie Kay are exec producing for Fremantle Global Documentaries along with Angela Neillis for Fremantle International.
“Kim’s Video” is the latest premium documentary backed by Fremantle. Other recent projects include “Mrs. America” (Anonymous Content and Spinning Nancy), directed by the acclaimed Penny Lane, and iconic fashion series “Kingdom of Dreams,” from Misfits, the team behind “McQueen,” which had its U.S. debut at DOC NYC.