‘Fly Colt Fly: The Legend of the Barefoot Bandit’: SIFF Review
The Bottom Line
A lively doc focuses on the folk-hero aspect of an impressive crime spree.
SEATTLE — Brothers Adam and Andrew Gray are clearly enamored of their subject in Fly Colt Fly, a doc about the Washington state 17 year-old who managed to evade the FBI and other lawmen for two years while committing a string of brazen thefts. Colton Harris-Moore, also known as the Barefoot Bandit, was daring in ways conducive to myth-making, and the film plays along, offering romantic live-action reenactments and animated scenes whose anime-influenced energy never flags. The film will play especially well here in the teen’s home state, but is colorful enough to win fans elsewhere on the fest circuit and on video, paving the way for a possible Hollywood adaptation down the road. (A rival documentary appears to be nearing completion as well.)
Fly Colt Fly: Story of young ‘Barefoot Bandit’ told like a rollicking tall tale
Somewhere below “Shoeless Joe” Jackson in the pantheon of footwear-averse American icons sits Colton Harris-Moore, a.k.a. “the Barefoot Bandit.”
After escaping from a halfway house as a teenager, Harris-Moore led authorities on a three-year goose chase/minor-crime spree during which he stole dozens of vehicles ranging from bicycles to light aircraft; Adam and Andrew Gray’s energetic documentary recounts its subject’s story as a rollicking tall tale punctuated by animated interludes that honour the sheer comic-book outlandishness of his tactics.
Colton Harris-Moore is one of America’s most fascinating teenage criminals. Known as the “barefoot bandit” Colton spent the better part of his teen years breaking into houses and businesses, stealing money and joy riding cars, boats and planes. The media frenzy for this Washington state boy became fever-pitch over the years that he was successfully dodging and toying with police. Audiences got the same rush from watching his crime spree as that of Bonnie and Clyde or Canada’s own, Edwin Boyd. From a distance we could safely cheer on an anti-hero that would inevitably get caught. Don’t deny it. We watch Natural Born Killers and The Sopranos to get that same rush. The feature-length documentary developed by brothers Andrew and Adam Gray follows the pace of an intense and scrutinized journey under the media spotlight.
Fly Colt Fly : Legend of The Barefoot Bandit is now being broadcast on HBO Canada, The Movie Network and Movie Central.
Adam and Drew Gray are Canadian filmmakers who have approached documenting the paranormal with a scientific eye and an open mind. Allison from Milwaukee Ghosts first introduced me to their work through a documentary called The Nightmare.
Inspired by a sleep paralysis incident that affected Adam Grey so deeply that he couldn’t sleep for weeks where he saw a shrouded figure at the foot of the bed (he goes into detail about what actually happened to him during the podcast and I talk about a sleep paralysis incident that I had as well that would later inspire our song, “Hypnogogic”.
Fly Colt Fly : Legend of The Barefoot Bandit is now being broadcast on CBC.
The Gray Brothers win the Steam Whistle Homebrew Award for Best Local Short at the 2017 Kingston Canadian Film Festival for Ty Conn: My Brother The Outlaw.
Quinte Health Care commissioned the Gray brothers to produce a documentary about an incredible story from Belleville General Hospital. The extraordinary tale of how the right people, in the right place, at the right time, with the right equipment saved a young life that WOULD have been lost on month earlier. And it all happened because of donor support!
Gray Brothers begin production on Ty Conn : My Brother The Outlaw through Bravofactual award.
DOC Institute’s New Visions Incubator, an artistic documentary-focused mentorship program for young filmmakers across Ontario, is now accepting applications.
The 8-month program is a unique blend of creative mentorship, story development, practical resources, & networking opportunities that will guide filmmakers through the development stage of their documentary projects. Over the course of the program, participants will develop the practical knowledge, creative materials, & pitch documents to get camera-ready.
The Gray brothers are interviewed by Quintevation about their partnership and filmmaking in the Bay of Quinte region.
"9. Fly Colt Fly: Legend of the Barefoot Bandit, directed by Adam and Andrew Gray. Waters says: “Using animation, news footage, and realistic reenactments (you even get to see him wiggle his toes), Fly Colt Fly will make you understand why this plane-stealing kid became a national folk hero.”
Belleville Downtown DocFest International Documentary Film Festival announced Friday that Adam Gray has joined the organizing committee in the role of festival coordinator. Gray comes with a wealth of experience in the film industry and, along with his brother Andrew, runs Gray Brothers Films, a Belleville-based production company.