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“He Existed Quietly Orbiting Stars”: Directors JJ Garvine and Tai Parquet | Film Hawk

Film Hawk

In every film, there is the story that you knew you were telling, the story the audience perceives. But there is always some other story, a secret story. It might be the result of your hidden motivations for making the film, or, instead, the result of themes that only became clear to you after you made the movie. It might be something very personal, or it might be a story you didn’t even know you were telling. What is your film’s secret story?

For us, and most cinephiles over a certain age, the name Bob Hawk already carried a certain familiarity. Though he had produced several films, and his name had been bandied about the independent film community for decades, it was his work with Kevin Smith, and to some extent, Edward Burns, that would bring greater prominence. However, to the wider audience, his achievements and story beyond that were somewhat anonymous. On the periphery of celebrity, he existed quietly orbiting stars.

As we set out to profile Bob, we knew he was a treasure trove of anecdotes, and a link to a film history that was vaguely known and largely forgotten. We knew he was a long time consultant and advocate for independent film who was complicit in advancing the careers of many different filmmakers. We discovered that he was also the gay son of a minister, whose love and involvement in theater, coupled with a need for activism, led to his calling and ultimate career path. Bob is an independent maverick, forging connections and creating unique experiences wherever he announces his presence.

On the surface, the film has always been about Bob’s advocacy for independent film, and his unheralded role in its growth through the plethora of filmmakers with whom he worked. But as we interviewed filmmaker upon filmmaker, friends and family, what began to manifest in the subtext of the narrative was something more. The film, the story, indeed the magic of Bob was not about the multitude of people he knew. It was about the multitude of people he had touched. For Bob, it was never a matter of “connections”. He chose to make connection. Wondrously infectious, he imparted his spirit in the hearts of everyone he met. In many ways, more than his quantifiable contributions, his true influence on the genre would lie in the impression he made on each individual.

In retrospect, Film Hawk is about sowing seeds. Bob Hawk plants seeds wherever he goes, taking pride but not credit for the harvest he leaves. His story is one of human connection and how each individual is capable of forever resonating in whomever they reach.

[PREMIERE SCREENING: Sunday, January 24 at 8:30am — Prospect Square Theatre]

Sundance Responses 2016

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