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Harris has come so close to finishing Arbiter Roswell on several occasions that the project has cost him other work, and maybe even his marriage. “One of the reasons that my ex-wife divorced me, I think, is because I turned down roles on Broadway and also in film,” he says. “I was offered a role in a Broadway musical in 2003, which I turned down because I thought I was about to get the backing [for Arbiter Roswell] and I didn’t want to commit to a seven-month contract for a Broadway show that would interfere with that.” Today, Harris says, he needs roughly $90,000 to complete post-production — something he hopes his encore appearance at Sundance may help to facilitate.
“When Robert Redford is lauded for what he has done since 1984, that’s very real, because independent filmmakers are like the poor and needy that Jesus Christ talked about,” Harris says. “We’re the ones that are kicked to the side and treated like the lepers we are not.”
Screens at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival on Friday and Saturday, January 16 and 17.
Scores provided by Rotten Tomatoes