A mock documentary which follows a conspiracy surrounding the fictional death of Bill Gates is scheduled for a January 13 World premiere at the Slamdance film festival.
Nothing So Strange, a feature-length independent film, examines the questions about the Gates 'assassination' and chronicles a campaign by Citizens for Truth, a fictional grassroots group who refuse to believe the results of the official investigation.
The premise of the faux documentary, said to be a cross between Kevin Costner vehicle JFK and The Blair Witch Project, is that Gates was shot dead in Los Angeles on 2 December 1999 while attending a charity event.
In a parallel with the JFK assassination, two bullets fired from the roof of the Park Plaza hotel, across the street from MacArthur Park in downtown LA, killed Gates. According to the official version of events, the 'assassin' - Alek Hidell - fled before been shot and killed in a confrontation with a Los Angeles Police Department marksman.
Hidell was a political radical who wanted to starts a class war by killing the world's richest man, the official report by Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti concludes.
Distrust of the Los Angeles Police Department and its investigation of "the last great crime of the 20th Century" lead to doubts about the lone-gunman theory and the formation of Citizens for Truth.
In December 2000, we reported how the team behind the The Blair Witch Project, Haxan Films, were advising Director Brian Flemming about how to develop the film, then called MacArthur Park.
The title of the documentary was changed to Nothing So Strange to prevent confusion with a film called MacArthur Park which featured in Utah's Slamdance alternative film festival last year.
Nothing So Strange stars Steve Sires, a professional Bill Gates impersonator, as the Microsoft chairman.
David James who, coincidentally, recently appeared in a Microsoft print ad campaign, plays a leading member the Citizens for Truth group.
The filmmakers report the real Bill Gates's only reaction to Nothing So Strange has been through a spokesperson, who said: "It's very disappointing that a movie maker would do something like this." ®