The Champion: The Story of America's First Film TownDocumentary
Box Office: $0.0M
PRINCIPAL CASTRichard Koszarski, Tom Meyers, Nancy O Mallon
DIRECTORMarc J. Perez, Theodore Huff, Mark A. Borgatta, Mack Sennett
When Mark Dintenfass arrived in Fort Lee in 1910, the sleepy New Jersey town just a ferry ride away from Manhattan was already a favorite location for nickelodeon-era filmmakers. Why not, he reasoned, build a studio and save the expense and hassle of travel across the Hudson? Purchasing land and a building in nearby Englewood Cliffs, Dintenfass founded the Champion Studios, where he produced silent westerns and Civil War epics. Others followed, and soon there were movie studios all over Fort Lee. Sadly, the land rush proved to be a bubble that burst when the American film industry moved west to Hollywood. Based on Richard Koszarski's book, Fort Lee, the Film Town, The Champion tells the story of that brief golden age and of a modern-day fight to save the era's last remaining studio reminding us that the preservation of cinema history involves more than just the restoration of the films themselves.