Archie's Final Project
|Archie's Final Project|
Promotional film poster
|Directed by||David Lee Miller|
|Produced by||Todd Traina
David Lee Miller
Eric J. Adams
|Written by||David Lee Miller
Eric J. Adams
|Music by||Tim Kasher|
|Editing by||Gabriel Sunday
Jordan J. Miller
|Running time||105 minutes|
Archie's Final Project is a teen comedy-drama film directed by David Lee Miller and starring Gabriel Sunday. It won the best feature film prize for the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival's youth film section Generation 14plus. It is scheduled for limited release in Los Angeles, New York City and Santa Fe, New Mexico in September 2011 (having been changed from its original title, My Suicide) and was released on DVD December 6.
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (May 2010)|
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (December 2011)|
Socially inept media geek Archie Williams becomes the most visible kid in school when he announces he's going to kill himself on camera for his final video class project. As word spreads, Archie's classmates, parents, the most beautiful girl in school, Sierra, and a "Shady Bunch" of teachers, shrinks, doctors, pill-pushers and counselors bombard him – some hoping to save him, some wanting to imitate him, others trying to push him over the edge.
Archie films it all, pointing his incisive camera at the realities of life, death, violence, sex, money, drugs, music and media overload. Archie rants with comic accuracy, interweaving documentary footage with his narrative, graphically revealing what teens love and hate, do for kicks, and secretly hide within their souls.
The same day he says he is going to kill himself on camera, he is taken away by the Police and brought to a mental hospital, where he repeatedly calls a psychiatrist a "Cunt" on camera, until the same psychiatrist tells him to go back to school and have teachers deal with him. The next day Sierra, the most popular and beautiful girl in school, confronts Archie about wanting to kill himself, along with many other students. He has always liked her but tells her off and leaves her standing alone. But Sierra won't give up and confronts Archie again, this time alone, asking if she could write a story about him for the school's newspaper, Archie agrees and both start filming. On the roof of the school they both go to, Sierra asks Archie why he would want to die and gets the answer that he's never really lived and hasn't gotten anything to live for, to which she replies that suicide is "The permanent answer to a temporary problem". Not surprised by this, Archie decides to hang out more with Sierra and include her in his plans. He visits her home and meets the parents, who tell him that their son, Shane, had a car accident last year and died, followed by that is a warning by the family to drive safely. In between the scenes Archibald is seen going to another psychiatrist, talking about life. They both develop a friendship and constantly quote movies. Also, in between David Carradine, Archie's inspiration, is seen giving interviews about death.
One day Archie films Sierra jumping on his trampoline, her dress flies up and huge scars are seen on her legs, to which she says: "It's just a rash" and leaves the irritated Archie alone. The next day he decides to visit Sierra, welcomed by her mother who plans a charity event for her dead son, he asks to meet Sierra and talk to her. They both go to her room and she asks if she can trust him. When he says yes, she takes out a little box, with two razor blades and a piece of paper, a third razor blade is hidden in the paper. She pulls up her skirt, big cuts in her skin are revealed and takes the third razor blade to cut herself. Archie stops her from doing that, she accuses him of being a liar, saying she can trust him. He says she can, she then takes the razor blade and cuts Archie's chest. She tells him she wants to die as well and that they want to do it together, on camera. Archie agrees to that and so they make up a plan. They both film everything they do now.
Archie is still a virgin, Sierra isn't and so she wants him to do a favour, she takes his virginity to not let him die a virgin. Later they go to a party and get really drunk, they also smoke pot and talk to other guests, who are at their school. Archibald goes out with the guys from his high school, talking nonsense. They find that they miss someone from their crew and one camera as well. The boy is found by them with the camera, coming out of a bush. The next morning Archie and his classmates have gym class and get ready in the locker room, Sierra filming the girls and Archie the boys. They go out of their locker rooms at the same time, the boys just stop and stare, whilst the girls start screaming and running away. The two gym class teachers are seen shocked and then the reason is revealed: The boy who had Archie's camera last night hangs from the basketball hoop, he has hanged himself there. In shock, Archibald films that, Sierra runs back in with the girls and the Police is called.
Outside Archie is attacked by the dead boy's best friend, blaming him for getting his friend to commit suicide. Sierra thinks Archie's changed his mind about committing suicide with her because he is so shocked and gets mad at him. Archie declared that he still wants to die with her, but gets doubts. He gets in Sierra's car, she drives way too fast, screaming at Archie to look inside the glove box. He finds her box with the razor blades and the paper. She tells him to read the letter; it is from her brother Shane, who apparently died accidentally. It says that he can't live in this family any longer and that he will kill himself. Archie is shocked by the truth and now knows the real reason Sierra wants to die: her brother. They argue and Sierra kicks him out of her car, driving away.
When he gets home, he finds his door open and his parents in his room, watching scenes from his undone movie about killing himself, they see Sierra cutting herself and them both talking about doing "it". Archibald asks them why they even got him, to which the parents firstly reply "Because we love you", but after a second time asking, they admit they only got him because his mother accidentally got pregnant, he was a mistake, but "the best we ever made". Still shocked, Archie doubts everything he has ever done and watches the footage on his camera. His friend who committed suicide is seen talking to the camera, about death, how nobody loves him and how he wants to end it all. Archibald gets into his car and drives to David Carradine's home, waits for him to get home and interviews him, whilst doing that he gets a phone call he doesn't answer. He tells him everything that's happened, to which Carradine replies: "You really are fucked." He then takes Archie out to the street and shows him homeless people, who still make others happy and give back.
Archie sees that his problems can't be that bad and throws away his gun, with which he wanted to kill himself. He then looks at his phone to see who called him earlier, listening to a message on his mailbox, from Sierra who will kill herself now. Sierra is now seen on camera, talking about how she will take 60 pills to die and talking directly to Archie. Archie immediately calls 9-1-1 to save Sierra and drives to her house, breaking a window to get it and finding her on the floor, knocked out. Thinking she's dead, he cries over her body. Sierra's parents come in and push Archie off, thinking it was his fault she is dying. A second later the ambulance comes in, trying to save her.
The camera then switches to a funeral; high school friends and Archie are mourning over a grave. It is revealed that it is his friend's funeral, the one that killed himself in the gym. It turns out that Sierra could be rescued and they both don't want to die anymore. They later sit in Archie's room, listening to a message from David Carradine to Sierra. The camera slowly fades out as they kiss and Archie begins to say that the audience will probably think he and Sierra will now have a happy ending and a new beginning etc. etc. But no, Sierra finds a new boyfriend online and enjoys life while Archibald is still single, with his camera, but happy.
- Gabriel Sunday as Archie Holden Buster Williams
- Brooke Nevin as Sierra Silver
- David Carradine as Jesse Gabriel Vargas
- Mariel Hemingway as Charlotte Silver
- Nora Dunn as Gretchen Williams
- Joe Mantegna as Dr. Gafur Chandrasakar
- Michael Welch as Earl
- Zachary Ray Sherman as Corey
- Vanessa Lengies as Mallory
- Tony Hale as Social Worker
- Sandy Martin as Mrs. Ellis
- Tim Halligan as Mr. Silver
- Kurtis Bedford as Mr. Bedford
- Steven Anthony Lawrence as Brainiac
- Stephen Sowan as Stoner
- Ernie Garrett as P.E. Teacher
I Am An Archie
I Am An Archie is a social media marketing campaign aiming to promote teen suicide awareness. After attending an early screening of Archie's Final Project, a Miami teenager created a video in which he identified as an Archie. Since then, thousands of teens have identified themselves as Archies.
When asked why the campaign resonated so well with teens, Gabriel Sunday said "I think the reason this whole IAmAnArchie campaign started is because kids in the festival circuit would be like, “Oh, that’s me. Archie is me.” There are so many ways you can connect with that character and kids always connect with him, no matter what place or what country they’re in. They feel that sh** that he’s going through, and they’re living it. So they started giving that feedback and saying "I’m an Archie because I’m depressed and I hate my family, or I’m creative and I love making art but people don’t understand it." I’ve been connected to the issue of suicide for six or seven years, and I know that what kids need to hear more than anything is that they’re not alone. That ended up being our message with IAmAnArchie: “Yeah, I’m scared, I’m depressed, I’m obsessed, I’m whatever, but I’m also an Archie because there’s a million Archies and they’re all going through crazy s***.”
- Crystal Bear Best Picture Generation 14plus — Berlin International Film Festival 2009
- Grand Jury Award for Best Feature — GenArt Film Festival 2009
- Audience Award for Best Feature — GenArt Film Festival 2009
- Jury Grand Prix for Best Picture — Giffoni Film Festival 2009
- Special Jury Grand Prix, Golden Gryphon for Best Picture — Giffoni Film Festival 2009
- Audience Award for Best Picture — Giffoni Film Festival 2009
- MyMovies Award for Best Picture — Giffoni Film Festival 2009
- Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking — Newport Beach Film Festival 2009
- Youth Jury Award for Best FutureWave Feature — Seattle International Film Festival 2009
- Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Feature — Edmonton International Film Festival 2009
- Peoples Choice Award for Best Feature Film — Edmonton International Film Festival 2009
- Best Film — Buster International Film Festival 2009
- Jury Award for Best International Feature — Raindance International Film Festival 2009
- The Camerio International Jury Award for Best Feature Film — Carrousel international du film de Rimouski 2009
- Grand Youth Jury Award for Best Feature Film — Exground Filmfest, Weisbaden, Germany 2009
- Best Editing (Gabriel Sunday) — Downtown LA Film Festival 2009
- Roxborough, Scott (February 13, 2009). "My Suicide a standout in Berlin's Generation". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2009-02-13.[dead link]
- "Gabriel Sunday: 'Archie's Final Project' Star Talks Teen Suicide". Huffingtonpost.com. 2011-10-06. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
- "Adrian Grenier #IAmAnArchie". YouTube.com. 2011-10-06. Retrieved 2012-09-03.
- "| Berlinale | Archive | Annual Archives | 2009 | Prize Winners". Berlinale.de. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
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- Vivarelli, Nick (2009-07-27). "'My Suicide' wins at Giffoni festival". Variety.
- "Newport Beach Film Festival 2009 Awards". Newportbeachfilmfest.com. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
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- Wall, Carmen (2009-09-18). "Film festival goes retro | Metro". Metronews.ca. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- "Raindance 17th Film Festival 2009". Raindance.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- "Festival international de Cinéma Jeunesse de Rimouski". Festivalcinemarimouski.com. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- "exground.com". exground.com. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
- "2009 Downtown Film Festival-L.A Wraps With West Coast Premiere of 'Jackson 5 In Africa'". SHOOTonline. 2009-08-25. Retrieved 2013-05-17.
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