Beaver Trilogy Part IV

Director: Brad Besser

Institute History

  • 2015 Sundance Film Festival


In 1979, KUTV in Salt Lake City acquired a new video camera. Trent Harris, a producer for the station’s offbeat show Extra, ventured out into the parking lot to test the new equipment and happened upon a young man taking pictures of the station’s news helicopter. The kid, calling himself "Groovin' Gary," was the self-proclaimed Rich Little of Beaver, Utah. His infectious personality and small-town impressions of John Wayne, Sylvester Stallone, and Barry Manilow piqued Harris’s interest enough so he gave him a business card and asked that he alert him if anything newsworthy happened in his hometown. What happened next would become the foundation for Beaver Trilogy, a unique collection of films that documented Harris's multiple attempts at re-creating the original magic of the Beaver Kid.

Director Brad Besser dives deep into the mystique of this cult classic, unraveling the mystery of Harris’s original inspiration. Steeped in Sundance Film Festival history (the original Beaver Trilogy premiered at the Festival in 2001), Beaver Trilogy Part IV explores the line between the quest for fame and the exploitation of those who pursue it. —A.M.

— Adam Montgomery

Screening Details

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