I’m No Dummy
Salient Media will distribute I'm No Dummy, billed as the first feature-length documentary about ventriloquism. The movie debuted this year at the 35th annual Seattle International Film Festival.
The film, directed by Bryan W. Simon and produced by Simon, Marjorie Engesser and Timothy T. Miller of Montivagus Productions, features popular ventriloquists including Comedy Central’s two-time Comedian of the Year and YouTube sensation Jeff Dunham, Tony Award winner Jay Johnson, Campus Entertainer of the Year Lynn Trefzger and ventriloquism historian Tom Ladshaw.
I’m No Dummy examines the now obscure art form of ventriloquism (kept alive by an ever-diminishing group of dedicated artists) through the minds of the “vents” and their puppets. The film, which runs 86 minutes, was Simon’s brainchild.
He says the idea came to him while on a bike ride in Los Angeles, as he kicked around ideas for a new project and decided to focus on a documentary about something he loved as a child. Simon believes that the film will introduce contemporary audiences not only to the masters of the art form but to modern geniuses as well, whose puppetry and “re-definition of the art form has lead to hundreds of millions of hits on YouTube such as Jeff Dunham’s controversial dead terrorist puppet.
The growing success of Dunham and the unique opportunity to give both fans of Dunham and other ventriloquists a “behind the strings” glimpse of the historical art of puppetry is what led Salient Media to I’m No Dummy.
Gary Binkow, CEO of Salient Media says, “We are delighted to be in business with Bryan, Marjorie and Tim from Montivagus Productions. They’ve put together an impressive film and we are anxious to show it to the world.”
Simon says, "A dozen distributors were interested in my film, but it was Salient Media's ability to navigate this volatile marketplace and protect my artistic vision that made them the perfect partner for the documentary.” Salient Media is the company behind several successful comedic releases including those of multi-platinum selling comedian Katt Williams, Eddie Izzard, Kevin Nealon and most recently the hit Showtime series Live Nude Comedy.
The company is planning for a DVD release of I’m No Dummy, which will kick off with a promotional tour to a few key cities (to be announced at a later date) to include a Q&A session with Johnson, Trefzger and the creators of the film.