Playing a mean pinball is just the beginning.
In the game of pinball, there is no greater reward than Wizard Mode – a hidden level that is only unlocked when a player completes a series of lightning-speed challenges. Robert Emilio Gagno has dedicated most of his life to mastering Wizard Mode, and is now one of the top pinball players in the world. He also happens to have autism.
As a young boy, his parents realized they could give him a quarter and he would play on a pinball machine for hours. Refusing to believe their son was locked into a limited future, his parents supported him as he practiced non-stop, developing an exceptional talent for the game.
But now Robert’s real challenge lies outside the game on his journey to shed his youth and gain independence.
Wizard Mode, Salazar Film’s first feature documentary, is a candid personal perspective on autism through the life of one of the world’s greatest pinball players. The film follows Robert as he seeks to balance his quest to become a world pinball champion and his growing real world responsibilities, culminating at the largest pinball tournament in the world, Pinburgh, in Pittsburgh, PA.
SALAZAR Film is a production team concentrated on documentaries and commercials, with an emphasis on telling unique stories of individuals and their communities, capturing sublime landscapes, and experiencing filmmaking as an integrated part of life.
We've had the privilege to film world-renowned kinetic artist Theo Jansen on the beaches of Den Haag, travel the deep south shooting over 1500 portraits of LGBTQ Americans for the project ‘Self Evident Truths’ and tell the story of the only Muslim professional sumo wrestler living in Tokyo. Our documentary work with Warner Brothers recording artists Tegan and Sara garnered Grammy and Juno nominations in 2011.
Jeff Petry was born and raised in rural Manitoba. After completing a pilot’s licence he traveled to cooking school in Austria, then on to Vancouver to work as a photographer until co-founding Salazar Film, a commercial and documentary production company based in Vancouver, B.C. He has co-directed, written and produced under the name SALAZAR since 2010.
Nathan Drillot was born in the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee in a house without electricity. He spent his childhood in a constant state of flux moving every few years. Story telling was an intricate part of his families identity and helped to create a sense of continuity in another wise turbulent life. Forsaking traditional post secondary education he instead focused on lived experience. in 2010 he started SALAZAR with Jeff Petry and Jesse Savath. Since then he's traveled the world experiencing filmmaking as an integrated part of life.
Edo Van Breemen
Edo is lead singer, keyboard player and songwriter for the highly acclaimed Canadian indie-rock band Brasstronaut, as well as an accomplished composer. His scoring credits include the documentaries The Backwards Class (Audience Choice Winner, Hot Docs 2014), Fractured Land directed Fiona Rayher and Damien Gillis, and the narrative films Afflicted (winner best Best Canadian First Feature Film at TIFF) and AIR starring Norman Reedus and Djimon Hounsou.
A film editor from Vancouver, B.C., Greg is an alumnus of the UBC Film Program and the Canadian Film Centre. He has worked with directors Clif Prowse and Derek Lee on the film AFFLICTED, which won Best Picture at FantasticFest 2013 and Best Canadian First Feature Film at TIFF 2013. He also was an editor on The Backwards Class, the Hot Docs Audience Choice for Best Documentary in 2014. Most recently, Greg finished editing Come and Find Me, directed by Zack Whedon and starring Aaron Paul.
Sara has been researching and producing documentaries with Salazar for two years. She has previous experience working in community engagement with a range of social justice non-profit organizations in Vancouver, B.C. Last year, she was selected as a Telus Fellow of upcoming filmmakers at the Banff Media Festival.
SAT, NOV 12, 7PM
RENDEZVOUS WITH MADNESS FILM FESTIVAL
Workman Theatre, 651 Dufferin Street
TUES, NOV 1, 7PM
MUSEUM OF VANCOUVER
(Robert & Directors Q&A)
SUN, SEPT 18, 12PM
FRI, SEPT 2, 10:15PM
PORTLAND FILM FESTIVAL
WED, MAY 11, 8:45 PM
THU, MAY 12, 12:30 PM
MON, MAY 2, 7:15 PM
WED, MAY 4, 1:00 PM
Hart House Theatre
SAT, MAY 7, 6:15 PM