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A dreamlike glimpse into the visionary mind of Brooklyn-based artist and entrepreneur Stefan Pokorny, an art prodigy obsessed with Dungeons and Dragons, who attempts to bring his most ambitious work to life through Kickstarter.
Initial release: March 12, 2016
Director: Josh Bishop
Music composed by: Josh Bishop
Cast: Stefan Pokorny
Screenplay: Josh Bishop, Nate Taylor
Story by: Josh Bishop, Nate Taylor, Victoria Lesiw
Audience Rating 100% on Rotten Tomatoes!
“The Dwarvenaut is best described as a documentary about an unconventional artist… or an artist who uses an unconventional medium (or media). Watching the tale of Stefan Pokorny unfold, however, is not only completely compelling and utterly universal, but it also stands a good chance of convincing some folks to pick up a 20-sided die and give Dungeons & Dragons a try. It is an engrossing story that is beautifully told.”
Josh Lasser, “Mining a Dungeon Master for Gold,” IGN. August 1, 2016.
“Bishop does an excellent job capturing Pokorny’s detailed and generous artistry, whipping the camera around city streets, dank dungeons and underground sewers. The narrative casts Pokorny as a visionary sculptor in the roleplaying world and indeed, his creations of twisting tunnels, snarling ratmen and a vast, complex city named Valoria are meticulous and beautiful. A Kickstarter campaign about this vast city, Pokorny’s long-held and lovingly crafted vision, is the driving beat of Dwarvenaut. Two successful campaigns have kept things afloat but the situation is are far less certain as the third one begins. Dwarven Forge is on the brink of folding and a future of waiting tables looms for Pokorny.”
J.A. Kordosh, “The Dwarvenaut,” Under the Radar Mag. August, 11, 2016.
“I know nothing about Dungeons & Dragons, and I thought The Dwarvenaut was great! It’s a charming film, full of belly laughs, about an artist (Stefan Pokorny) on a fascinating quest to bring people together through his enthusiasm for the game and his creation of model cities. You’ll think he’s bonkers until you see the methods behind the madness: how every moment from his adoption as a young boy to his nail-biting $2 million dollar Kickstarter campaign reveals a life of deep focus, and deeper joy. By the end, I was shouting “VALORIA!” — the name of his ultimate mythical city — along with the rest of the audience. Don’t miss this film!”
Robert Zott, audience review on Rotten Tomatoes