Based On A True Story, Walter Stokman's documentary about thereal events and characters behind Sidney Lumet's classic film, Dog DayAfternoon, is being circled by a small pack of US buyers currently inBerlin.
Amsterdam-basedsales agent SND Films is weighing up offers from, among others, theatricaldistributors here!, Cinema Guild and Avatarand TV outlets Discovery and The Sundance Channel,.
Meanwhile,it has now been confirmed that the film will receive its US premiere at theTribeca Festival in April.
Tomake Based On A True Story, Stokman tracked down John Woltowicz, theeccentric who attempted to rob a branch of the Chase Manhattan Bank in Brooklynin order to raise cash to pay for his lover's sex change operation.
Thedocumentary mirrors Dog Day Afternoon, in which Al Pacino famouslyplayed Woltowicz. Both films revolve around telephone negotiations. In Lumet'sfeature, the police talk with the bank robber, trying to persuade him to turnhimself in. In the documentary, Stokman faces an equally frustrating challengein trying to talk his oddball subject into appearing on camera.
Woltowicz,Stokman believes, has long traded on his 15 minutes of fame. Now in his 50s, heis deeply eccentric. His health isn't good. He is living on welfare. He walksaround with a plastic bag crammed full of clippings about the robbery. "Heis a victim of his own fantasies," the director says of his subject. Toreach him, you have to call between midnight and 6am and you have to use thepassword."
Based On A True Story was financed by the Kasander FilmCompany. Stokman is currently working on a new project, The Hunt, adocumentary about South African poet Gert Cloknel, which is being made throughNiek Koppen's Self-Made Films.