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5000 Feet is the Best

GER/USA 2011, 30 min

The fictional restaging of a drone pilots unfinished story.


5000 FEET IS THE BEST is based on two meetings with a former drone operator which were recorded in a hotel in Las Vegas in september 2010. On camera, the drone operator agreed to discuss the technical aspects of his job and his daily routine. Off camera and off the record, he briefly described recurring incidents in which the unmanned plane fired at both militants and civilians and the psychological difficulties he experienced as a result before breaking the interview off.

Instead of looking for the appropriate news accounts or documentary footage to augment his redacted story, the video is deliberately miscast and misplaced: it follows an actor cast as the drone operator who grudgingly sits for an interview in a dark hotel. The interview is repeatedly interrupted by the actor's digressions, which take the viewer on meandering trips around Las Vegas. Told in quick flashbacks, the stories form a circular plot that nevertheless returns fitfully to the voice and blurred face of the drone pilot and to his unfinished story.

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Only in cinemas and at festivals — distributed by Filmgalerie 451

Press reviews

Blurred or pixellated faces mean truth; odd camera angles and tracking shots its opposite. It isn’t what we are shown that makes us believe. It is how we are shown it. (...) I doubt, having seen 5,000 FEET IS THE BEST, that you will ever look at the news in quite the same way again. – The Independent, 21.05.2014, Charles Darwent

Awards and Festivals

- Venice Biennale in 2011
- Tiger Awards Competition for Short Films IFFR 2012
- Crossing Europe Filmfestival Linz 2013
- Audience Award KINO DER KUNST 2013
- Filmhouse Cinema, Edinburgh, Scotland 2014
- Festival Bande(s) à part, Bobigny, France 2014
- War Films Festival, Portsmouth, England 2014
- Impakt Festival 2014: Soft Machines (Panorama), Utrecht, Netherlands 2014
- Sheffield Doc Fest, England 2015
- Soloausstellung Omer Fast, Martin-Gropius-Bau Berlin, Germany 2016/17
- GEGENkino - TRUE POLITICS Video Art Exhibition, Germany 2017
- Internationales Experimentalfilm- & Video Festival Zürich VIDEOEX 2017

Watch Movie

Only in cinemas and at festivals — distributed by Filmgalerie 451


Director, Screenplay and Editor
Omer Fast
Denis O’Hare, Gabriel Gutierrez, Eddie B. Smith, Brad Nelson, Tracy Kay, Bill Crounse, Jennifer Anderson, David Welborn, Maggie Anderson, Carter Barsh, Laura Patalano, Aiden Hunt, Michael Brooks, Armani Marley, Tony Lathanh, George Tsai
Director of Photography
Yon Thomas
Laura Rosenthal, Caroline Liem
Production Design
Anthony Stabley
Costume Design
Emily Batson
Sound Design
Jochen Jezussek
Stefan King
Daniel Desure, Mary Pat Bentel
Produced by
Commonwealth Projects

Distribution Details

Screening Format
DCP (2K, 25 fps, 5.1)
Blu-ray Disc
Aspect Ratio
Promotion Material
License Area
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