The tale of a gregarious Midwestern folk hero, “Saving Brinton” — a film by Tommy Haines, John Richard, and Andrew Sherburne — is at once a meditation on living small and a celebration of dreaming big. In a farmhouse basement in the Iowa countryside, eccentric collector Mike Zahs makes a remarkable discovery: the showreels of the man who brought the moving picture to America’s Heartland. Among the treasures: rare footage of President Teddy Roosevelt, the first moving images from Burma, and a lost relic from magical-effects godfather Georges Méliés. Amid the old nitrate reels are the artifacts of William Franklin Brinton. From thousands of trinkets, handwritten journals, receipts, posters, and catalogs emerges the story of an inventive farm boy who became America’s greatest barnstorming movieman. When Mike uncovers this hidden legacy, he begins a journey to restore the Brinton name to movie history.
Two friends stumble on the holy grail of movie memorabilia in the most unlikely of places.