Fineman Films
The website of Fineman Films

Fineman Films

On January 27, 2000 an advertisement appeared in Daily Variety announcing the 30th anniversary of Fineman Films. The ad took the form of an open letter that beseeched movie executives to invest in the small studio. The studio boasted that it had an extensive catalog of over 400 independent features, including titles such as "Groovy Hippie Slumber Party," "Joan of Arkansas," and "Venus de MoFo."

Readers were invited to learn more about the studio by visiting its website at The site announced that Fineman Films had, for over thirty years, "been dedicated to producing the finest in thought-provoking action, comedy, historical drama, restoration and animated films."

However, there was, in reality, no such movie studio as Fineman Films. The open letter and the website were both part of an elaborate publicity campaign to promote a new feature movie titled "The Independent" starring Janeane Garofalo and Jerry Stiller. The movie was scheduled to premiere at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado on February 9.

"The Independent" spoofed the genre of low-budget exploitation films by featuring Stiller as Morty Fineman, a director of B grade movies who believed his own creations were actually deeply nuanced social commentaries.

The idea for the hoax website was inspired by the publicity campaign for "The Blair Witch Project."

  • Jonathan Bing, "Fake ad introduces `Independent' spoof," Daily Variety, Jan. 31, 2000.