The Imposter

The Imposter

A scene from THE IMPOSTER, a film by Bart Layton. Picture courtesy Indomina Releasing. All rights reserved.

The Imposter (2012)

Opened: 07/13/2012 Limited

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Cinema Village...08/17/2012 - 09/20/201235 days
Music Box Thea...08/24/2012 - 09/13/201221 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

Websites: Home, Twitter, Facebook

Genre: Biographical Documentary

Rated: R for language.

There Are Two Sides To Every Lie

A gripping thriller straight out of real life, THE IMPOSTER is an original film experience that walks the razor's edge between true-crime documentary and stylish noir mystery.


The twisting, turning tale begins with an unsettling disappearance -- that of Nicholas Barclay, a 13 year-old Texas boy who vanishes without a trace. Three and a half years later, staggering news arrives: the boy has been found, thousands of miles from home in Spain, saying he survived a mind-boggling ordeal of kidnap and torture by shadowy captors. His family is ecstatic to have him back no matter how strange the circumstances -- but things become far stranger once he returns to Texas.

Though the family accepts him, suspicion surrounds the person who claims to be Nicholas. How could the Barclay's blonde, blue-eyed son have returned with darker skin and eyes? How could his personality and even accent have changed so profoundly? Why does the family not seem to notice the glaring differences? And if this person who has arrived in Texas isn't the Barclay's missing child . . . who on earth is he? And what really happened to Nicholas?

Director Bart Layton fuses confessional interviews, strikingly creative re-enactments and suspenseful storytelling into a film that asks the audience to play detective -- as they ferret out the blurred evidence between a family who seems desperate to believe, a private investigator obsessed with resolution and a lonely thief whose only loot is human identities. Yet, just when it seems the puzzle of Nicholas Barclay has come together, another corkscrew twist turns everything upside down -- and draws the audience deeper into THE IMPOSTER'S lacerating questions about truth, perception and why people are so tempted to pretend, to fib and, most of all, to fool ourselves.

A&E Indie Films, Film 4 and Channel 4 present a RAW production in association with Red Box Films and Passion Pictures, THE IMPOSTER. The film is directed by Bart Layton and produced by Dimitri Doganis. The executive producers are Simon Chinn (PROJECT NIM, MAN ON WIRE) and John Battsek (ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER, RESTROPO, THE TILLMAN STORY, PROJECT NIM).

Filmmaker Biographies

Bart Layton (Director)

Based in London, Bart Layton is a British filmmaker known for visual innovation and challenging conventions. He has directed a number of acclaimed documentaries for both British and American broadcasters and has been a finalist on several occasions for Best Documentary for The Royal Television society and a finalist for Best Documentary at the Grierson Awards. He is the Creative Director of the leading British production company, Raw. Bart has created and directed a number of drama documentaries that were the starting point for what have become long running cult series in both the US and UK. In recent years Bart has used his documentary experience to gain difficult access to volatile environments such as maximum-security prisons in Latin America into which he has taken actors, created workshops with the prisoners and made films.

Dimitri Doganis (Producer)

Dimitri Doganis is the founder of Raw, and an award winning producer and executive producer. Having started in news and current affairs as a cameraman and producer, he went on to direct and produce documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5 as a freelancer including films in Cambodia, Iraq and the West Bank. In 2001 he set up Raw with a small development grant from Channel 4. Since then Raw has grown into one of the UK's leading Independent Production Companies, making individual programmes, long-running shows and web-based series for broadcasters in the UK and the US. In addition to producing THE IMPOSTER he is the executive producer on much of Raw's output, such as "Gold Rush," Discovery's top-rated series, "Locked Up Abroad," National Geographic's longest-running series, and continues to develop opportunities for television and film that take an innovative approach to storytelling.

Simon Chinn (Executive Producer)

Simon Chinn is an Oscar®-winning producer whose most recently released film, PROJECT NIM, directed by James Marsh, won the World Cinema Documentary Directing award at Sundance, has been nominated for a Producers' Guild Award and is on the shortlist for the 2012 Academy Awards. It was acquired in the US by HBO, was theatrically released in the US and has been acquired for theatrical distribution in over 17 other territories worldwide.

Chinn's previous film, MAN ON WIRE, went on to win over 30 international awards, including the Academy Award® for Best Documentary Feature. MAN ON WIRE was released in 2008/9 in over 25 territories worldwide and became one of the highest grossing documentaries of recent years.

In 2005, Chinn established his production company Red Box Films to produce MAN ON WIRE and it currently has a slate of projects -- including feature documentaries, feature films and television dramas -- at various stages of production and development. In 2008, Red Box Films formed a producing alliance with Passion Pictures to collaborate on a range of feature documentaries. Red Box and Passion have another feature documentary premiering in competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival; SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, directed by Malik Bendjelloul.

John Battsek (Executive Producer)

John Battsek runs Passion Pictures' film department and is one of the most successful and prolific feature documentary producers in the UK. In 1999 Battsek conceived and produced the Academy Award® winning ONE DAY IN SEPTEMBER. He has since been responsible for a variety of high profile feature documentaries many of which have achieved international distribution. These include IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON (Audience Award Winner, 2007 Sundance Film Fest World Documentary Competition); MY KID COULD PAINT THAT; LIVE FOREVER; SERGIO (Academy Award® shortlisted, 2010); STONES IN EXILE; Oscar® nominated RESTREPO; FIRE IN BABYLON (Grierson Trust Winner, Best Historical Documentary); THE TILLMAN STORY (Academy Award® Shortlisted 2011); BETTER THIS WORLD (Gotham Awards, winner Best Feature Documentary 2011); KORAN BY HEART; BOB AND THE MONSTER and PROJECT NIM (Academy Award® shortlist 2012).

Battsek also executive produced another film launched this year at Sundance: Malik Bendjelloul's directorial debut, SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN, a film about the greatest '70s US rock icon who never was. Other current projects include Greg Barker's MANHUNT for HBO; Nadav Schirman's THE GREEN PRINCE based on the NY Times Bestselling memoir, THE SON OF HAMAS by Mosab Hassan Yousef, and a feature adaptation of Meg Rosoff's award-winning dystopian novel HOW I LIVE NOW, shooting spring 2012 for Film4 with Kevin MacDonald.

Erik Alexander Wilson (Director of Photography)

Erik Alexander Wilson's credits include SUBMARINE directed by Richard Ayoade, produced through Ben Stiller's company Red Hour Films and Warp Films in the UK and released to huge critical acclaim. For Warp he also shot Paddy Considine's BIFA award winning film TYRANNOSAUR, for which Paddy received the World Cinema Directing Award at Sundance 2010.

Erik has recently wrapped on the feature NOW IS GOOD, which stars Dakota Fanning and Jeremy Irvine, directed by Ol Parker through Blueprint Pictures. For TV he has shot ITV's "Murderland" starring Robbie Coltrane, and the Simon Nye and Richmal Crompton scripted BBC series, "Just William," directed by Paul Seed, which picked up a Children's BAFTA for best drama in 2011.

Andrew Hulme (Editor)

British-born Andrew Hulme misspent his youth making experimental films on a fine art course. He is now known as a film editor responsible for Anton Corbijn's CONTROL & THE AMERICAN, and for GANGSTER NO. 1, LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN & RED RIDING 1974. As well as working on features he has edited many documentaries including A HISTORY OF BLUE NOTE, JAZZ SCENE & PLAY YOUR OWN THING.

He is currently writing a screenplay and learning music theory.

Interview Subjects

Frederic Bourdin is the 23-year-old Frenchman who stole the identity of a 16 year old American boy, Nicholas Barclay, who had been missing for 3 and a half years. He was 35 at the time of our interview.

Carey Gibson is the older sister of Nicholas Barclay, the Texan boy who went missing in 1997. Carey who was 31 at the time, is the family member who went to bring the person she believed to be her brother back from the children's shelter in southern Spain where he had supposedly been found. She lives and works in San Antonio, Texas.

Beverly Dollarhide is Nicholas Barclay and Carey Gibson's mother. Beverly was at the time of her son's disappearance. She now lives in San Antonio close to her daughter and grandchildren.

Charlie Parker is a Texan Private Investigator, who became obsessed with this case. He believes that he was the first to spot the discrepancies between the boy who went missing and the one who returned. He works as a PI in San Antonio, Texas.

Nancy Fisher is the former FBI Special Agent, who was assigned to investigate Nicholas Barclay's alleged kidnapping, only to realise that he could not the boy who disappeared more than three years earlier. She has retired from the FBI but works as a Private Investigator in San Antonio.

Bryan Gibson was married to Carey Gibson, making him Nicholas' uncle. Carey and Bryan have since separated. Bryan lives in San Antonio and is a skilled carpenter.

Codey Gibson Carey's son and is Nicholas' nephew, though only 2 years younger. Codey lives in San Antonio with his wife and two children.

Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D is a renowned child psychiatrist and was at the Texas Children's hospital when Nancy Fisher brought Nicholas Barclay to see him for an examination. He was the first expert to express certainty that this could not have been an American child.

Philip French was the US Consul at the American Embassy in Madrid, in 1997. He was contacted by the children's shelter, when they thought they had an abandoned American child in their care.