"Chop & Steele"
Directed by the Austin-based Ben Steinbauer and co-director Berndt Mader, the documentary Chop & Steele follows the trials and tribulations of the Found Footage Festival founders Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher as they fight back against a federal fraud lawsuit filed against them for a prank appearance on a local morning television show. Gray Television filed the lawsuit in 2017 against Pickett and Prueher after they appeared on a Wisconsin affiliate posing as their fictional strongman duo Chop & Steele. The lawsuit not only earns Pickett and Prueher national attention but an audition on America’s Got Talent, the show they claimed they previously appeared on as Chop & Steele. The documentary also examines how the pandemic impacts the future of the Found Footage Festival, which Pickett and Prueher founded in 2004 as a way to share their love of odd VHS clips. Chop & Steele screens 11 a.m. Sept. 23 and 8:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Alamo South Lamar during Fantastic Fest. Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher also will also host a live found footage show at 11 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Highball at the Alamo South Lamar during Fantastic Fest. Chop & Steele will also stream Sept. 29-Oct. 4 during Fantastic Fest's virtual event FF@Home. Ben Steinbauer previously directed 2009 documentary Winnebago Man, which featured Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher, as well as the documentary shorts Calls to Okies: The Park Grubbs Story, The Superlative Light, Slow to Show, and Heroes from the Storms and episodes of the TV series Stories of the Mind and Pink Collar Crimes. Berndt Mader previously directed 5 Time Champion and Booger Red, co-produced Prince Avalanche, and executive produced Calls to Okies: The Park Grubbs Story and The Superlative Light. Steinbauer and Mader are directors and partners with the Austin-based full service production company The Bear.
Aired: Sept. 20, 2022.