One of the surprise breakout hits of the 2023 film festival circuit, Weston Razooli’s directorial debut “Riddle of Fire” charmed audiences around the world by blending the aesthetics of classic family adventure movies with a modern midnight movie sensibility. After premiering in the Directors’ Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival, the film went on to close the Midnight Madness section of the Toronto International Film Festival and screen at Fantastic Fest. Now, thanks to Yellow Veil Pictures and the legendary boutique Blu-ray label Vinegar Syndrome, the film will receive a domestic theatrical release this spring.
The official synopsis for “Riddle of Fire” reads: “This neo-fairytale set in Wyoming, USA follows three mischievous children as they embark on an odyssey when their mother asks them to run an errand. On the hunt to obtain her favorite blueberry pie, the children are kidnapped by poachers, battle a witch, outwit a huntsman, befriend a fairy, and bond together to become best friends forever.”
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Razooli made waves for his decision to shoot “Riddle of Fire” on 16mm Kodak film, which imbued the film with an aura of nostalgia that helped invoke the 1970s Disney adventure movies with which it shares so much DNA.
“Shooting digitally would kill the magic and the suspension of disbelief,” the director said in a statement. “It’s a subjective taste of course, but that’s just how I see it and feel it. Being an illustrator, I like to think that film is oil paint, while digital is acrylic paint: both have their own advantages, but oil is my medium.”
“Riddle of Fire” is written and directed by Weston Razooli. The film stars Lio Tipton, Charles Halford, Danielle Hoetmer, Lorelei Olivia Mote, Austin Archer, and Charlie Stover.
A Vinegar Syndrome and Yellow Veil Pictures release, “Riddle of Fire” opens in Alamo Drafthouse theaters on Friday, March 22. Watch the trailer, an IndieWire exclusive, below.
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