Bobby Loves Mangos is a short film I discovered nearly a decade ago. It screened at a bunch of film festivals in the late ’90s, and filmmaker Stuart Acher famously tricked an extremely unwilling and uninterested Roger Ebert into watching it. Ebert later endorsed the film. I won’t give away the whole story, because it’s included at the start of the video below. But it was one of many famous stories from the start of an era where people believed that the next generation of big directors would be discovered through short films.
The film is about an elementary school principal who receives a video tape sent from the future, warning him of a terrible school bus accident that will kill 50 kids on a field trip. The acting isn’t the best (hey, its a student short film), and while the concept doesn’t hold up to scrutiny, I love the idea. Acher produced the film for his Boston University Thesis project, funding it using bar mitzvah money. At one point Acher was planning to adapt the film into a feature, but apparently that fell through. Acher is now an editor, music video and commercial director in Hollywood.
Funny aside: After I posted this story in the drafts, /Film writer Russ Fischer e-mailed me alerting me that I “should take a close look at the crew credits on that movie.” Before Russ became a writer full-time, he had spent a bunch of years on film sets in various different capacities. As it turns out, Russ was actually the first assistant cameraman on Bobby Loves Mangos.
Unfortunately, I’ve only been able to find a copy of the video online which has been split into three parts.