I first heard about Gil Reyes’ documentary Searching For Elliott Smith after stumbling upon an early IMDB page that listed the likes of Mary Lou Lord, Gus Van Sant, producer Larry Crane, Heatmiser’s Tony Lash, Smith’s friend Sean Croghan, and many more as “credited cast” members. It was intriguing to see that some of the people closest to Smith had agreed to appear in a film that was presumably about his life, but time went by and the project didn’t appear to be happening.
Perhaps it was the addition of Smith’s former girlfriend (and witness to his mysterious death), Jennifer Chiba, that spurred the project forward, however, as Searching For Elliott Smith made its world premiere at a recent CMJ screening and is slated to screen at Argentina’s Mar del Plata International Film Festival next week.
According to the film’s brand new Facebook page and official blog, the highlight of the documentary is supposedly rare onscreen interviews of “Smith’s peers” (that is, the people we mentioned above) because they had granted “very few print interviews and NO on-camera interviews. Until now.”
Not many specific details are provided in the official synopsis, but a couple of bloggers attended the screening and, though we won’t speculate on the film before seeing it, you can read about a “Michael Moore-esque stunt Reyes included at the end to ‘disprove’ a 2004 police report saying Chiba refused to talk to detectives” here or another interesting account of the CMJ screening thataway.