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New documentary follows life of eccentric Utah filmmaker

June 9, 2018

PROVO, Utah (AP) — A film premiering at a British documentary festival this month documents the story of an eccentric Utah filmmaker who has made about 200 low-budget movies over the last two decades.

The documentary film, “The Insufferable Groo,” made by Brigham Young University film professor Scott Christopherson follows Stephen Groo’s life as he films “The Unexpected Race,” an elf-human love story, The Daily Herald reported Thursday.

Christopherson’s film shows Groo’s process of filming and recruiting well-known actor Jack Black to play the sheriff in the 2016 movie. It also follows Groo’s personal life over three years.

The title refers to the Provo independent filmmaker’s directing style, which Christopherson said can be “pretty demanding.”

“I’ve never met anyone that loves movies as much as he does,” Christopherson said. “He grew up just loving watching movies, loving everything about them, grew up trying to make movies, and it’s like his whole life has been movies.”

Groo’s low-budget movies, which cover nearly every genre and are made under his company Wolf Productions, have developed a Hollywood fan base, leading to Black entering a starring role.

“Having Jack in ‘The Unexpected Race’ was probably one of the best things that’s actually ever happened to me,” Groo said. “Going down to have two and a half hours with Jack was just a director’s dream.”

While Groo’s films are not profitable, Groo said making his movies isn’t about the money.

“My goal is to make one person smile or to feel entertained,” Groo said. “I feel that I have accomplished something when I can get one person to enjoy my movie.”

Christopherson’s film was set to show at the Sheffield International Documentary Festival, which runs through June 12. A screening in Provo is being planned for later this year.

“What price should you pay to follow your dream?” Christopherson said. “We all have dreams we’ve either given up on or dreams that we continue to pursue but that costs us and our families a lot, and I think at the heart of our documentary, that’s what this is all about.”

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Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldextra.com

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