Ben Russells Trypps #6 (Malobi)

  • Ben Russell’s “Trypps #6 (Malobi)”

The brunch that Sundance programmer Mike Plante bought for local filmmaker and UIC instructor Ben Russell at the Morning Ray Café in Park City, Utah, came with strings attached.

A contract scrawled on a paper napkin stipulated that Russell deliver to Plante a film made for $36.05—the price of that meal. The film had to “make us feel like we are traveling,” contain “a visible splice,” and “be influenced by the youth of today.”

Russell says his Trypps #6 (Malobi)—a continuous take shot on steadicam on a single roll of 16mm film, depicting a Halloween mask procession in a jungle village in Suriname—met all Plante’s dictums, but “as for the cost, it was a bit more than $35 – let’s just leave it at that.”

Russell’s film screens Friday 1/15 at Chicago Filmmakers, in the first Chicago appearance of Plante’s Lunchfilm series of movies Plante commissioned under similar circumstances.