You Can Help Finish the Final Film Directed by Orson Welles

By  · Published on May 7th, 2015


Yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Orson Welles, but the celebration of his centennial continues. The Cannes Film Festival will premiere both a 4k restoration of Carol Reed’s The Third Man and a new documentary about the filmmaking legend, I Am Orson Welles. And right now there’s also an Indiegogo campaign for Welles’s final, unreleased directorial effort, The Other Side of the Wind.

This is a movie that originally began shooting in 1970, with John Huston starring as a Hollywood director trying to finish his own final film. By the end of the decade, it was still not completed, so it was taken away from Welles and put into a vault. More than 10 years ago, filmmaker and Welles protege Peter Bogdanovich, who also co-stars in The Other Side of the Wind, decided to get the thing done. Now, he and producer Frank Marshall are finally making that happen, through this crowdfunding venture.

The Indiegogo goal is $2m, which may seem a lot, but this is Orson Welles, after all. The guy who made some of the best movies of all time, most notably Citizen Kane. And the perks for patrons of The Other Side of the Wind include some special memorabilia and other items for cinephiles, such as an actual 35mm print of the movie once it’s completed. Screw all those crowdfund projects that offer digital copies and DVDs. That’s the true way to own and watch a film.

The Other Side of the Wind also stars Oja Kodar (who is also credited as co-writer), Bob Random, Susan Strasberg, Lillie Palmer and Dennis Hopper, who interestingly enough has a posthumous final film of his own in the stages of completion thanks to a successful crowdfunding effort (on Kickstarter). There are also cameos from Claude Chabrol, Paul Mazursky, Henry Jaglom and others playing themselves.

Other notable names involved as supporters of the movie, some financial backers, include Steven Soderbergh, J.J. Abrams, Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Brad Bird, Clint Eastwood, Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach, Brett Ratner and Jason Reitman.

Going by delivery dates for perks, it looks like The Other Side of the Wind is expected to be finished and released in January 2016. Watch the campaign video below.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.