It’s been four years in the making, but it took the untimely death of 1980s teen-flick fabuloso John Hughes to get the film world to take notice of Don’t You Forget About Me, a feature-length documentary on the late director of such classics as The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Though it was cool on the film at first, Alliance Films didn’t skip a beat in snatching up the world rights in a hand-shake agreement one day after Hughes’ death on Aug 6.
Toronto-based director Matt Austin-Sadowski – perhaps best known for his recurring role as the green power ranger in The Power Ranger series – and his team self-financed the homage to their favorite filmmaker. With this unexpected deal, ‘more people get to see the movie,’ says Austin-Sadowski. ‘It might have gone under the radar just like John Hughes’ career did. People didn’t appreciate him when he was alive, just like people might not have appreciated this movie when he was alive.’
Producer Kari Hollend says that until last week she expected to be self-distributing the film. ‘We probably would have found an audience through grassroots marketing, but we’d have had to do the push ourselves,’ says Hollend.
While the details of the deal have yet to be finalized, the road movie that seeks to find out why John Hughes fell off the radar will likely be seen internationally through several conduits.
‘We thought it would be online and eventually broadcast,’ says Hollend. But now the sky’s the limit for the little documentary that could.
The filmmaking team, all in their early 30s, also includes producer Michael Facciollo, coproducer Lenny Panzer and exec producer Michael Baker (Young People Fucking).
The low-budget film features interviews with Andrew McCarthy, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson and director Howard Deutch (Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful), among several other 1980s icons.