TVIFF: PRETEND

USA, 2009, 92 min
Director/Producer: Eli Kibrick
Cast: Keenan Kibrick, Melissa Courtney Kibrick, Taylor Christensen, Colin Wheelock, Daniel Everson, Eric Leitterman, Vanessa Himless, David Lorant, Katie McLaughlin

Pretend is a documentary about doing whatever it takes to be happy in real life, even if it requires playing make believe. It is about finding yourself and coming of age, while being immersed in another world. It is about learning who you are, even if you are filled with insecurities. With one camera, one microphone, and no re-takes, Pretend captures something rare–the unique routes young adults can take to learn to love and appreciate themselves just as they are.

If the recent popularity of comic book movies weren’t proof enough that nerds are taking over the world, I submit Pretend for your consideration. Pretend follows a group of young twenty somethings that formed a RPG (Role Playing Game) Club at the University of California San Diego. Simply enough, they get together weekly and LARP (Live Action Role Play).

The film starts out as a spectacle of watching people perform something socially awkward and devolves into a lot more. Namely, a place where the socially awkward can get together, make friends, be themselves and embrace the experience and enjoyment of LARPing together. While some may call them dorks, in this world they’ve created, these kids are forming friendships that will last lifetimes and pretending to be Kings, Queens, Warriors and so on.

The film started very much with a Trekkies vibe. However, unlike Trekkies, I never once felt like laughing AT the people in this documentary. In fact, they kind of stole my heart. For that reason, I have to say: SEE IT! The problem is, can you? This was the film’s world premiere and I doubt it has distribution. Now, when you attend a film at the festival, they give you a card to rate films on a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best). I gave Pretend a 10. Do I think it’s a perfect film? No… however, it is definitely worth making it’s way to your TV so I hope it wins something at the fest and continues to play the festival circuit so that one day you too might get the chance to see this sweet little film!

Visit the film’s website by CLICKING HERE!!!

3 Responses to “TVIFF: PRETEND”

  1. the tattooed vixen Says:

    I want to LARP now! Can we the next time I come over? This movie sounds awesome.

  2. Kai definitely seems like a LARPer-in-waiting to me. The movie sounds like fun, and better yet, it sounds like you just had one of those great festival experiences watching (and discovering) it…but I wouldn’t be caught dead LARPing. I don’t even like the word – it makes the geeks from King of Kong seem like they’ve spending their time wisely.

    • You know how geeky I am, Dylan. But this is another kind of geek. I’m geeky but have no awkwardness socially… as you know. Still, the personalities of those involved are what made the film so likeable.

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