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U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Innovation in Nonfiction Storytelling

What if you could make your loved ones live forever? Dick Johnson Is Dead is Kirsten Johnson’s delirious and desperate attempt to keep her aging father alive. In this effort she turns to the magic of cinema to kill him, resurrect him, and celebrate his last years on earth.

Toggling between observational documentary and fictional fantasy, longtime cinematographer Kirsten Johnson peels back layers of moviemaking as she and her father share a quest to face his death together. Their challenge is heightened by the erosive effect of dementia, which menaces Dick Johnson (both the person and the movie), but will not deter their commitment to explore the unlikely ways in which we might love and know each other all the way to the end.

Exuberantly creative, joyous, funny, and heartbreaking, Dick Johnson Is Dead is a cinematic ode to one very lovely man from his ridiculously talented daughter—and a beguiling gift to all of us lucky enough to see it.

Closed captioning, audio description, and enhanced audio for assistive listening are available for this film.

SPECIAL FREE SCREENING: As our way of saying thank you for supporting independent storytellers we are offering a free screening of this film on Friday, January 31, 11:45 p.m. at Park Avenue Theatre. To get tickets join the eWaitlist online or on the Festival app two hours before film start time.

YEAR 2020

CATEGORY U.S. Documentary Competition


RUN TIME 89 min

COMPANY Big Mouth Productions

WEBSITE https://www.bigmouthproductions.com/

EMAIL simon@bigmouthproductions.com

PHONE (917) 837-9368


Executive Producer
Director of Photography
Edited by
Music Supervisor
Written by
Associate Producer
Sound Recordist

Artist Bio

Kirsten Johnson

Kirsten Johnson’s most recent film, Cameraperson—named to the New York Times' "top 10 films of 2016"—premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was shortlisted for an Academy Award. Her short The Above premiered at the 2015 New York Film Festival and was nominated for the IDA Documentary Award for Best Short. Her camerawork appears in Academy Award winner Citizen Four, Academy Award nominee The Invisible War, and Cannes Film Festival award winner Fahrenheit 9/11.