Taproot’s bullfight doc attracts broadcasters at Santa Fe festival; will play Chicago Latino

Taproot Productions’ bullfighting documentary “The Bulls of Suburbia” has charged its way through the festival circuit this year, drawing broadcaster interest at the Santa Fe Film Festival, where the film was nominated for best documentary.

“A cable broadcast entity was very interested,” said director Alex LeMay. “Hopefully we’re going to see this thing televised.”

“Bulls of Suburbia,” which supplied the Super 35mm bullfighting footage for “Seabiscuit,” has been invited to screen at the Chicago Latino International Film Festival next April, its official local premiere.

“I just got the call and now I have to decide whether to [spend] 50 grand on the 35mm blowup to show at Piper’s Alley, or show [on video] at Facets,” LeMay said.

“Bulls” debuted at the Filmstock International Film Festival, and was a juried selection at the Festival Cine Latino, Malibu and Boston Latino fests.

A French Canadian, LeMay spent his childhood in Spain, where he grew to love bullfighting. He returned to the sport a few years ago, traveling with the sole American bullfighting instructor Coleman Cooney to Mexico and Spain.

Over the course of the doc LeMay learned bullfighting and through the sport confronted personal demons like alcoholism and his father’s death.

LeMay will return to Europe this May to shoot new footage for his documentary “Conversations Abroad,” which explores European attitudes toward American foreign policy.

LeMay began the doc as a TV pilot shortly after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Best-selling North Carolina children’s author Michael Reynolds is host and producer through Reynolds-Applegate Productions.

LeMay’s 13-year-old Taproot is a full-service production company with a staff of four, a regular service arrangement with Post Effects and an expanding pool of freelancers.

Along with a recent series of corporate videos for CVS Pharmacy, Taproot has been supplying all the 3D video content for point-of-sale displays for I-Port and Stereographics of San Francisco, companies that are pioneering 3D video monitors for home systems, retail and navigational systems.

Taproot processes traditional 2D video through compositing, masqueing and After Effects to create nine layers of video for Stereographics technology, resulting in a “glasses-free” 3D effect.

“The image comes nine to 12 inches off the screen,” LeMay said. “We’re one of maybe three companies taking this to the next level.”

Taproot is at 1115 W. Belmont. Call 773/327-6700 or see www.taprootproductions.com.

? Ed M. Koziarski, edk@homesickblues.com