Operation Avalanche (film)
Operation Avalanche is a 2016 American-Canadian found footage conspiracy thriller film directed by Matt Johnson, who co-wrote the film with Josh Boles. Johnson and Owen Williams star as CIA agents who infiltrate NASA to expose a potential mole, only to become embroiled in a conspiracy to fake the 1969 Apollo 11 Moon landing.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Matt Johnson|
|Music by||Jay McCarrol|
|Edited by||Curt Lobb|
|Distributed by||Lionsgate Premiere|
Two CIA agents infiltrate NASA to expose a potential mole. There, they find that NASA has kept their inability to reach the 1969 deadline for the Apollo 11 Moon landing a secret. They subsequently become involved in a plot to fake it.
- Matt Johnson
- Owen Williams
- Josh Boles
- Ray James
Production took place in Toronto, Houston, and Washington, D.C., starting June 30, 2014. The NASA scenes were shot on location. To get permission, Johnson told them he was making a student documentary. Additional scenes were accomplished through liberal application of newly-permissive fair use laws.
Operation Avalanche premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Johnson had received an offer to premiere the film at the Toronto International Film Festival but declined, reasoning that the film would be lost in the large number of films shown there. Lionsgate released it in the US on September 16, 2016.
Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 69% of 51 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 6.4/10. Metacritic rated it 69/100 score based on 18 reviews. Peter Debruge of Variety wrote, "Matt Johnson and Owen Williams' wild, borderline-illegal stunt delivers big time on its crazy premise." John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter called it a "likeable if not always convincing fantasy that gets much mileage from its period feel". Anthony Kaufman of Screen Daily wrote that the film "comes across more as a rambling lark than a tightly conceived film".
|Canadian Screen Awards||Best Motion Picture||Matthew Miller, Lee Kim and Matt Johnson||Nominated|||
|Best Director||Matt Johnson||Nominated|
|Best Overall Sound||Matt Chan||Nominated|
|Best Sound Editing||Matt Chan, James Patrick and Frieda Bay||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design||Megan Oppenheimer||Nominated|
|Best Visual Effects||Tristan Zerafa||Nominated|
|Kingston Canadian Film Festival||People's Choice Award||Matt Johnson||Won|||
|Toronto Film Critics Association||Best Canadian Film||Matt Johnson||Runner-up|||
- Kaufman, Anthony (2016-01-23). "'Operation Avalanche': Sundance Review". Screen Daily. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
- Martin, Peter (2014-05-28). "Matt Johnson's CIA Thriller OPERATION AVALANCHE Gets North American Distribution". Twitch Film. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
- Marsh, Calum (2015-12-31). "How Operation Avalanche director Matt Johnson boldly infiltrated NASA". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
- Howell, Peter (2016-01-23). "Sundance moonstruck by Operation Avalanche". The Toronto Star. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
Operation Avalanche relies heavily on recent updates to 'fair use' laws regarding artistic appropriation of material previously considered untouchable due to copyright restrictions.
- Murthi, Vikram (2016-07-21). "'Operation Avalanche' Trailer: Alt-History Doc Goes Behind-The-Scenes of Faking the Moon Landing". IndieWire. Retrieved 2016-09-25.
- "Operation Avalanche (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2017-01-06.
- "Operation Avalanche". Metacritic. Retrieved 2017-01-06.
- Debruge, Peter (2016-01-29). "Sundance Film Review: 'Operation Avalanche'". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
- DeFore, John (2016-01-22). "'Operation Avalanche': Sundance Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-05-15.
- Furdyk, Brent (17 January 2017). "2017 Canadian Screen Awards nominees revealed". Global News. Retrieved 2 March 2017.
- "07 Mar KCFF’17 Award Winners". Kingston Canadian Film Festival. 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2017.
- Knight, Chris (11 January 2017). "Toronto Film Critics Association names The Stairs best Canadian film of 2016". National Post. Retrieved 12 March 2017.