Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop is Hitting Theaters Soon
If you followed the Sundance Film Festival this year, one film that came out of that fest with a lot of buzz was the documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop directed by and about the elusive street artist Banksy. Instead of waiting months, or a year, for a distributor to pick up the film and release it, Cinetic Media (who reps the film) has decided to release it through the Producers Distribution Agency, an independent company that is basically made up of former distribution execs. The good news is that they are rushing it to theaters quickly. Exit Through the Gift Shop will open very limited on April 16th in three cities before expanding.
"The 20th Century distribution model involved the transfer of rights for 15 to 20 years to distributors who said, 'we have the access and knowledge you don't, give us your film,'" Cinetic's John Sloss said to Deadline. "Now, there are a lot of high quality distribution and marketing execs for hire, and in the 21st Century, is the other model always necessary? We showed this to the head of Landmark Theaters, and he loved it. When Banksy has such an ability to generate awareness, do we really need significant P&A when so much of what Banksy does is viral?" Good point. I'm not sure if everyone understood that, but basically they just decided to release the film on their own, in Banksy fashion, starting in New York, Los Angeles, and San Fran.
So what is it about and why do you need to see it? Exit Through the Gift Shop is the quintessential street art movie. It's fascinating to watch and entertaining and often quite funny. It's told through Thierry Guetta, a Frenchman living in Hollywood who meets and starts filming Banksy but then attempts to become an artist on his own. There are theories that the whole film is a hoax, but no one truthfully knows. It has a lot of buzz for good reason and I do suggest seeing it, which is rare because there aren't a lot of documentaries I truly enjoy, but this is one. “It's the story of how one man set out to film the un-filmable. And failed." -Banksy
For now it'll be opening very limited in New York, LA, and San Fran on April 16th then "slowly platform to other cities." Sloss event hints that Banksy may have a hand in marketing, using his infamous street art at least, so be on the lookout for some of that as well. And if you're in one of those cities, make it your mission to see Exit Through the Gift Shop and let us know what you think of it once you do get to see it. Have fun!