Documentary filmmaker John Maringouin recently found out he has a malignant tumor in one of his lungs — and to make matters worse, the lung has collapsed. Unfortunately, Maringouin had recently dumped his insurance company because it refused his efforts to get a CAT scan and other advanced diagnostics, so now he’s uninsured, and he needs surgery pronto — surgery that will cost $214,000 and requires a roughly $60,000 down payment.
Though Maringouin isn’t a Nashvillian, he has a lot of friends in the local film community, among them Belcourt programming director Toby Leonard, producer Ryan Zacarias and filmmakers Brent Stewart and James Clauer. In fact, Clauer was the director of photography for the Brazil portion of Maringouin’s sensational 2009 doc Big River Man, which won the World Cinema Cinematography Award at Sundance. Another Maringouin friend, director Stephen Kijak, has started an online fundraising campaign (giveforward.com/johnmaringouinsurgeryfund), but the clock is ticking, so Leonard, Zacarias, Stewart and Clauer have hustled on short notice to organize this benefit screening of Big River Man to help their friend in need.
A spellbinding, Herzog-like exploration of obsession and eccentricity, the film follows hard-drinking, overweight Slovenian Martin Strel on his quest to be the first man to swim the entire length of the Amazon River. We’d be urging you to go see it regardless of the cause, but given the circumstances, we’re demanding it! Admission is $8, and additional donations are appreciated. Clauer will introduce the film.