Dion Labriola wanted to be a fresh, young filmmaker for the '80s, and he envisioned his sci-fi creation as an animated feature starring Ike Eisenmann of the Witch Mountain flicks.
In order to make this happen, he sent Ike an official offer (on lined essay paper) or two (or 100), but couldn't get through. Seeing Ike on TV and in 16 Magazine just made things worse.
Over 40 years later, Dear Ike: Lost Letters to a Teen Idol comes close to making the dream come true.
Filmmaker (finally!) Labriola says:
"When I was a teenager, I dreamed of one day making an epic animated feature-film starring Ike Eisenmann. Although it is a documentary rather than the science-fiction epic I had envisioned back then, Dear Ike is that film.
"Because it’s such a personal story, I decided to produce this entirely independently, forgoing any outside funding. I also created all of the animation and edited the film. My best friend from childhood composed the score. I’m proud of the film we created and only hope that the teenage-me would be as well.
"Dear Ike is a small, simple story, yet I feel it speaks to larger issues, in particular how creativity, art, hopes, and dreams can bring solace to kids who are trying to find their place. "
Check out the trailer:
Dear Ike is showing at the Flickers Rhode Island Film Festival on Friday, August 13, at 4:45 p.m., and at the Dances with Films fest on September 5 at 2:30 p.m.