Crowdfunding campaign to finish Orson Welles' last film

True Detective editor Affonso Goncalves set to wrap Welles film locked for years in a Paris vault

Orson Welles
(Image credit: Getty)

Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the birth Orson Welles, a crowdfunding campaign has been launched to complete the director's final film. Shooting began nearly 45 ago on The Other Side of the Wind, a drama starring screen legends John Huston and Peter Bogdanovich, but the film has never been shown.

Now a campaign, launched on Indiegogo, seeks to raise $2m to fund editing, post production and a score for the movie, reports the BBC. The film has been described as "a scathing tale of friendship, betrayal, media and ambition in Hollywood".

Welles' daughter Beatrice has given her support to the project, saying: "My father struggled his whole life to find funding to finish his pictures, but never as much as he did for this one." She added that her father "would truly be ecstatic to know that it was the people who really cared about his work who, in the end, brought his last dream to fruition".

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Welles filmed The Other Side of the Wind between 1970 and 1976 amid a turmoil of cast changes, script rewrites, and funding issues, says the Hollywood Reporter. Shooting was completed but legal battles persisted over who actually owned the footage and the negative got locked in a lab in Paris.

Welles had managed to smuggle a 42-minute work print out of France and worked on it until his death in 1985. That print will be used as a model for editing the final film.

Royal Road Entertainment, the production company behind the effort to finish the film, struggled for five years with legal and financial obstacles to even get a glimpse of The Other Side of the Wind footage in France, but the rights issue was finally settled in 2014.

The company has now brought in Affonso Goncalves, an editor on True Detective and Beasts of the Southern Wild, to put the original material together. Goncalves will work with Peter Bogdanovich, one of the stars of the film.

Fans have until 14 June to donate to the project, with organisers offering donors rewards including limited edition film prints and invitations to the movie's world premiere.

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