“Illegal Use of Joe Zopp” is making a run at the big time.
National outlets will begin offering DVDs of the independent movie filmed in Chippewa Falls by former city residents in the summer of 2006 on Tuesday.
And distributor Victory Multimedia is working on a deal with online DVD rental business Netflix.
Plus, the graduates of Chippewa Falls Senior High School and McDonell Central High School who made the film found out this week the movie will be screened as one of the more than 100 official selections of the Wisconsin Film Festival.
The film will be screened at 10:15 p.m. Friday, April 3 at the Frederic March Play Circle in Madison. Tickets went on sale yesterday on the festival’s Web site, www.wifilmfest.org.
Having the film play at the Wisconsin Film Festival was the top goal of the filmmakers, said Emery Skolfield, a member of the filmmaking group. “We always wanted to play in Wisconsin,” he said, so the film can be shown to a larger statewide audience.
The film festival in recent years has drawn as many as 30,000 people.
“We’re honored and humbled to be a part of this huge celebration of movies. The excitement has led to a lot of dancing and fist pumping,” said Nick Holle, one of the film’s writers, in a statement.
This is the fourth film festival to screen “Zopp,” a suspense comedy about man drawn by a mystery to his hometown of Purewater. It was also shown at the Beloit International Film Festival last month, the Landlocked International Film Festival in Iowa City, Iowa and the Twin Cities Underground festival.
It made its debut in Chippewa Falls last August.
Wisconsin Public Television has already run a story about the film on it’s “Director’s Cut” series. Skolfield said Wisconsin Public Television plans to repeat that segment before airing the film later this year.
Skolfield added DVDs of the film are also available through the filmmaking group’s Web site, www.wutwutalma.com.
Skolfield said Holle and “Zopp” producer Seth Hedrington are now working on a documentary about Ragtime music. They filmed a world Ragtime competition in Iowa last year and tentatively plan to go there this year. They are also traveling around the country to talk with musicians who play Ragtime.
But, for now, the focus remains on “Zopp” and its newly found momentum.
“It’s been a long time and we worked on this for so long,” Skolfield said.
“This has been really great.”