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Retrospective: Animating Reality

NUTS! Penny Lane

Film index A to Z

A highly unlikely but completely successful cross between South Park and Citizen Kane, NUTS! recounts the life story, work and many schemes of John Romulus Brinkley, an American doctor who claimed in 1917 to be able to cure male infertility with goat-testicle transplants. He went on to become a politician and the owner of a Mexican radio station. Starting from this crazy premise, Penny Lane combines animation, interviews, archival images and a narrator rather lacking in objectivity to reinvent, as casually as you please, the film biography. Taking its character seriously, the film gradually becomes a touching tribute to the charlatan’s power of persuasion: like any great artist, he was a master storyteller. But he flew too close to the hot flames of the American Dream.

Presented in collaboration with the International Film Festival Fantasia, the Sommets du cinéma d'animation, the Cinémathèque québécoise, the Département d'histoire de l'art et d'études cinématographiques de l'Université de Montréal and the Observatoire du cinéma au Québec


  • Country : United States
  • Year : 2016
  • V.O : English
  • Duration : 79 MIN
  • Editing : Penny Lane, Thom Stylinski
  • Production : Caitlin Mae Burke, Penny Lane, James Belfer, Daniel Shepard
  • Writer : Thom Stylinski
  • Sound Design : Tom Paul
Filmography of Penny Lane :


This list is “representative” (it doesn’t include the less important works/exhibitions etc.)

NUTS! (2016, 79mins)
Exhibitions: Sundance (U.S. Documentary Competition)
International Film Festival Rotterdam
Grants: Creative Capital
New York State Council on the Arts
Tribeca Film Institute Documentary Fund

Our Nixon (2013, 85mins)
Exhibitions: New Directors/New Films
SXSW Film Festival
International Film Festival Rotterdam
Ann Arbor Film Festival (Ken Burns Awards for Best of the Festival)
Independent Film Festival Boston (Karen Schmeer Award)
Seattle International Film Festival (Best Documentary)
Traverse City Film Festival (Michael Moore’s Prize for Best Documentary)
Nantucket Film Festival (Adrienne Shelly Award)
The National Gallery of Art
Los Angeles Film Festival
Hot Docs
Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
Little Rock Film Festival
Rooftop Films
Open City Documentary Festival
Bildrausch Film Festival
Grants: Cinereach
New York State Council on the Arts
Tribeca Film Institute Documentary Fund
Jerome Foundation
Yaddo (residency)
Misc Honors: Best Editing [Nominee], Cinema Eye Honors
Best Documentary [Nominee], Gotham Awards
Theatrical: IFC Center (NYC)
Cinefamily (LA)
Hot Docs Bloor Theater (Toronto)
The Roxie (San Francisco)
Television: CNN (US/Canada)
ARTE (France)
SVT (Sweden)
BDS (Israel)
EBS (South Korea)
VPRO (The Netherlands)
ORF III (Austria)
24 Dok Channel (Russia)
D&N (China)

The Voyagers (2010, 16mins)
Exhibitions: International Film Festival Rotterdam
Disposable Film Festival (Honorable Mention)
FLEX Festival (First place)
AFI FEST (Honorable Mention)
New Orleans Film Festival (Best Experimental Film)
International Film Festival Oberhausen
Rooftop Films
Impakt Festival
Festival Signes du Nuit
Antimatter Film Festival
DOXA Film Festival
Norwegian Short Film Festival
Festival of (in)Appropriation
Hot Springs Documentary Festival
Citizen Jane Film Festival
Camden International Film Festival
Dallas Film Festival
Athens Int’l Film and Video Festival
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival
Iowa City Documentary Festival
Dallas Video Festival
European Media Arts Festival
Misc Honors: Best Short Film, Hammer to Nail Contest
Best Essay Film of 2011, “Short of the Week”

How to Write an Autobiography (2010, 4mins)
Exhibitions: Disposable Film Festival (First Place)
Athens Film and Video Festival (Second Place)
EM Media / VTape Festival

The Commoners (2009, 12mins)
Exhibitions: Rooftop Films
Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art (Audience Award)
Experiments in Cinema
Big Sky Documentary Festival
Hot Springs Documentary Festival
Dallas Video Festival
Dia Art Foundation (Audubon Festival)

Sittin’ on a Million (2008, 26mins)
Exhibitions: Iowa City Documentary Film Festival (“Most Badass!”)
Grants: Experimental Television Center
LEF Moving Image Fund
New York State Council on the Arts
FLEX Festival
Hot Springs Documentary Festival
Cucalorus Film Festival

Men Seeking Women (2007, 4mins)
Exhibitions: Impakt Festival
Images Festival
Antimatter Film Festival
Cucalorus Film Festival
Aurora Picture Show
Experiments in Cinema
FLEX Festival
Athens Film and Video Festival

She used to see him most weekends (2007, 4mins)
Exhibitions: Images Festival
Cucalorus Film Festival

The Abortion Diaries (30mins, 2005)
Exhibitions: New Orleans Human Rights Film Festival (Best Documentary)
Carolina Film and Video Festival (Best Documentary)
*over 300 community and educational screenings
Television: Yes! Television (Israel)
Free Speech TV (US/Canada)
Grants: New York State Council on the Arts
Puffin Foundation
Misc Honors: Generation Award, Choice USA

We Are the Littletons: A True Story (2004, 10mins)
Exhibitions: Athens Film and Video Festival (First Place)
Women in the Director’s Chair
San Francisco Intl Film Festival
Seattle International Film Festival

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