The fake Kristen Wiig movie that fooled Sundance Film Festival-goers

One of the most widely-hyped films of Sundance 2016 doesn't even exist, thanks to an elaborate in-joke. 

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The Independent Culture

Everyone's talking about Kristen Wiig's new movie AbracaDeborah. There's only one problem: it doesn't exist. 

That didn't stop the fake movie from spreading like wildfire amongst Sundance Film Festival attendees; some in on what turned out to be just an elaborate Twitter joke, others genuinely in the belief the film would be premiering there.

The whole shebang was unintentionally initiated by Uproxx's Mike Ryan, who joked on Twitter about the film's existence after boasting he'd spent a good chunk of his festival time watching old episodes of The Partridge Family. Somehow, for some reason, AbracaDeborah suddenly started spreading like wildfire across the social media platform as critic after critic started offering their own feverish, raving reviews of the non-existent film. 







Things got so out of control that festival-goers started to believe the film was indeed a real movie, leading Sundance organisers to chime in and politely request fans to stop requesting tickets for the film. 

Sure, its exclusivity left a few not in the know baffled and more than a little disappointed, but the AbracaDeborah hoax is a pretty hilarious dig at the festival's toxic relationship with hype. As Criticwire's Sam Adams points out, the adulatory reviews dreamed up by critics were indeed, "less ridiculous than things some critics have written about actual movies."

Festivals drown in the internet's #hottake culture, as cinephiles and critics rush to espouse the most memorably declarative, controversial views on films. And, considering Sundance is usually guaranteed to churn out a few future Oscar contenders, the rush to declare cinema's next masterpiece can sometimes get a little out of control.

Whiplash, Brooklyn, and Boyhood have all premiered at the festival in the past, and it's Nate Parker's The Birth of a Nation which seems to be accumulating the majority of current awards hype.