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The Dwarvenaut

Quebec Premiere
  • USA
  • 2016
  • 84 mins
  • DCP
  • English
Hosted by Subject Stefan Pokorny and Director Josh Bishop

Official Selection: SXSW 2016, Calgary Underground Film Festival 2016

The Dwarvenaut - Festival Trailer from Nate Taylor on Vimeo.

A ragtag band of adventurous rogues stalks the cobbles of a shadow-shrouded old town, swords in hand and magic spells at the tips of their tongues. Is this the fabled realm of Middle-earth? Westeros, perhaps? Nay! Nay, say we! It is the hamlet called Brooklyn, home to artist, entrepreneur, off-the-cuff philosopher and supremely devoted D&D aficionado Stefan Pokorny. For 20 years now, Pokorny has masterminded Dwarven Forge, a company specializing in miniature, modular terrain elements that bring — quite literally — a new dimension to tabletop fantasy role-playing games. Pokorny and co. now face their most daunting quest, one that may destroy them and cast their souls into the demonic underworld for eternity — or bankrupt them, anyway.

The dramatic thread of THE DWARVENAUT, the latest documentary from Josh Bishop (MADE IN JAPAN), is the countdown on an ambitious Kickstarter campaign that’s make-or-break for Pokorny and his colleagues. If it fails, Dwarven Forge falls with it. If it succeeds, however, Pokorny’s realm of fantasy will expand immensely, a physical manifestation of 30 years of dedicated dungeonmastering. Along the way, much is revealed of Pokorny’s story, his challenges in life and his steadfast dedication to his craft, his community and his creative vision. As such, THE DWARVENAUT is more than a celebration of the oft-maligned microcosm of gamer geeks — even if its lingering, luridly lit macro shots of Pokorny’s assembled creations border on the pornographic. Bishop’s doc is a robust and immensely inspiring tribute to talent, purpose, and dreams made real — an enchanted, and enchanting, tale for the ages.

— Rupert Bottenberg