Franklin, IN -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/26/2007 -- The B Movie Movie Celebration is pleased to announce that the recipient of its first lifetime achievement award is Lloyd Kaufman of Troma Studios. A day long retrospective of “The Best of Troma” will be shown as well a a presentation by the King of B’s himself Lloyd Kaufman. The retrospective hosted by actor Steve “Papaw” Pyatte will occur on August 18th, 2007 at the historic ArtCraft Theatre in Franklin, Indiana.
“Without Lloyd Kaufman, there probably never would have been There’s Something About Mary or Deuce Bigalow, Male Gigolo.”
- Michael H. Klienschrodt, film critic - New Orleans Times
Whether or not he would accept the fame (or blame) for these raunchy, mainstream blockbusters, there can be no doubt that what Kaufman has achieved is enormous. In 30 years, Kaufman, along with Yale friend and partner Michael Herz, has built Troma Studios up from a young company struggling to find its voice in a field crowded with competitors to legendary status as a lone survivor, a bastion of true independence, and the world’s greatest concentration of camp. Among Troma Entertainment’s library of over 1,000 movies are the early performances of such stars as Kevin Costner, Billy Bob Thornton, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert DeNiro, Dennis Hopper, Dustin Hoffman, Fergie (Black Eyed Peas) and countless others! As a filmmaker, Lloyd Kaufman has accumulated a remarkable list of credits, as well as a more extraordinary list of debits to loan sharks and pawn shops across New York.
“Acclaimed directors such as Peter Jackson, Quentin Tarantino, Spain’s Álex de la Iglesia and Japan’s Takashi Miike have all sited independent film director Lloyd Kaufman and the infamous film The Toxic Avenger as major influences.”
- Rupert Bottenberg
In the late 1960’s, Kaufman was enrolled at Yale University (where he would later teach multiple Filmmaking Master Classes), diligently working on a respectable degree in Chinese Studies. However, Kaufman was destined for other things. As he explains in his hit book All I Need To Know About Filmmaking I Learned From The Toxic Avenger (published by Penguin Putnam), “At Yale I was placed in a dormitory room with two film fanatics, and I knew everything had irrevocably changed.” In fact, Kaufman was infected with a love of movies from which he never recovered.
In 1971, Kaufman met his future partner Michael Herz at Yale. The Troma Universe was born in 1974 with a series of highly original, sexy comedies such as Squeeze Play!, Waitress!, and other titles ending with an exclamation point. These movies, independent precursors to such later smash hits as National Lampoon’s Animal House and Porky’s, did well financially, although Kaufman continued to work on such outside productions as Rocky and Saturday Night Fever. Kaufman’s relationship with mainstream Hollywood would not last long. “There were problems,” Kaufman said, “as I always wanted to do things my own way and my employers insisted I do things the correct way.”
Kaufman proved his former employers wrong with his 1984 breakthrough movie, The Toxic Avenger. This tale of a health club mop boy named Melvin who is transformed into a hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength struck a chord with audiences and critics alike, demonstrating that there was a large number of people who were interested in seeing things done Kaufman’s way. The Toxic Avenger led to an animated television series, “Toxic Crusaders,” several different comic book titles (published by Marvel and, most recently, Troma’s own independent comic book imprint), and three sequels. The most recent film in the series is Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger Part IV.
The success of The Toxic Avenger was followed by a string of commercial and artistic triumphs in a similar vein, blending fantasy, heavy action, comedy, and eroticism in a style that can only be described as “Tromatic”. These films, including the Class of Nuke ‘Em High trilogy, Sgt. Kabukiman NYPD, and Troma’s War, were often ignored or scorned by the intelligentsia of the time but spoke to an entire generation of young people who rejected the pandering, commercial films of the mid-to-late 80’s. Some of these Troma fans went on to become filmmakers themselves, including Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, Mike Judge, Peter Jackson, and Trey Parker. Thanks to these admirers, Kaufman has been asked to make cameo appearances in films like Trey Parker’s Orgazmo and Eli Roth’s Cabin Fever.
Lately, Kaufman and the Troma Team have begun to win respect from even their harshest critics. Tromeo & Juliet became a surprise theatrical and critical hit, earning the grand prize at the Fanta Festival in Rome. Kaufman’s following opus, Terror Firmer, inspired by the book All I Need To Know About Filmmaking I Learned From The Toxic Avenger, played for six months in Los Angeles alone. In addition, Kaufman has been an honored guest at various international film festivals and Troma retrospectives around the world. The San Sebastian Film Festival, the British Film Institute, the Cinematheque Francaise, the American Cinematheque, the Chicago International Film Festival, the UCLA Film Archives, the Tokyo Film Festival, and the Shanghai International Film Festival are just a few of the venues to have showered Kaufman with praise and free booze. In 2003, Kaufman received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Fantasy Film Festival of Amsterdam.
In January 2000, Kaufman founded the TromaDance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Determined to give independent film back to the people, Kaufman established a festival where there is no entry fee to filmmakers to submit their films, nor is there any admission charged to audience members. The TromaDance Film Festival presents a broad spectrum of films and film styles, creating an opportunity for everyone to put their own personal vision on film and have it seen.
Kaufman is also a tireless innovator, constantly using new developments in technology to foster the growth of independent art. Troma has a dynamic web presence with Troma.com, TromaDance.com, and the newest site, Toxic Avenger.com. All three sites provide news and entertainment, as well as providing an outlet for Troma to sell videos, DVDs, clothing, Tromabilia, and other products from the Troma Universe directly to their fans. Troma has also been ahead of the curve in DVD production, releasing feature-packed titles since 1997.
Kaufman has also earned the respect and trust of his peers in the independent filmmaking community. He has served as Executive Vice Chairman of the American Film Marketing Association (AFMA). Thanks to his vision of independent cinema’s future on the Internet, Kaufman was asked to help create and currently chairs AFMA’s New Technologies Opportunities Committee.
The B Movie Celebration is a presentation of The Indy Film Co-op and Cenama Inc. The Celebration of all B filmmaking will occur from August 17th-19th 2007 in Franklin Indiana. Also in attendance will be B film master Jim Wynorksi, Effecst Guru Tom Savini and Ed Wood Alumni Conrad Brooks. Tockets can be purchase by going to http://www.bmoviecelebration.com
About The Indy Film Co-op
Established in November of 2005, the Indy FIlm Co-op, is a non-profit, virtual motion picture networking organization comprised of individuals from all facets of the global entertainment industry. We understand that few of us make it in film without the help and support of a team of other people (a "network"). Our purpose is to create the opportunity for people to make key contacts and develop solid industry relationships while exchanging vital resources and providing support for career goals.
The Indy Film Co-op supports encourages and assists independent filmmaking in worldwide . The Co-op is committed to developing an awareness and appreciation of independent film. To serve our mandate, the Co-op provides assistance in five key areas; Production, Workshops, Exhibition, Communications and Outreach. Through these programming initiatives the Indy Film Co-op provides professional development opportunities in film production, and exhibition for our members. We strive to develop audiences for independent motion pictures.
Abut Cenama Inc.
The CENTER FOR ENTERTAINMENT AND MEDIA ARTS is designed to be a professional/education-based initiative composed of a unique alliance between five distinct partners: motion picture production companies, educational institutions, specific local and state government departments, public and private investment entities, and production service companies.CENAMA offers a unique opportunity to provide qualified participants with an immersive creative environment in which they can benefit from advanced development of their desired skills in new media arts. Participants will be exposed to the complete production process of a variety of entertainment content, including: motion pictures, television programs, Internet broadcasts and music and theater productions. These authentic productions will provide the participants with real-world experience in both on location settings and in a dedicated production facility, where they will be working in a world-class creative environment with top professionals in all disciplines.