If you enjoy documentaries that show personal journeys and comedy in equal measure the new film from Costa Botes, (who made mockumentary Forgotten Silver with Peter Jackson) may be worth looking out for. The story of the Willy Wonka of the Jelly Belly bean being exiled from his own candy empire looks to provide a kitschy character-driven film about the dark side of the industry.
Candyman tells the amazing true story of David Klein, an eccentric candy inventor from LA, who in 1976 had a once in a lifetime epiphany and came up with the concept of Jelly Belly jellybeans. These colourful beans came in numerous shockingly realistic flavours and were a radical new product. They became a pop culture phenomenon and revolutionised the candy industry. It didn’t hurt that no less a personage than Ronald Reagen, president of the USA, proclaimed Jelly Bellies as his favorite sweets. David’s eccentric personality and peculiar sense of business led him to give up the business just as it was about to explode. He has struggled with bitter regrets ever since. Jelly Belly has grown into a billion dollar enterprise, and the company has deliberately erased him from its history. There is no room for an eccentric genius like this in the modern corporate world. The movie is all about both sides of the American dream. It tells how Klein lost his beans, but kept his soul.
Tagline: “It’s time to spill the beans”
The film premieres at this year’s Slamdance Film Festival.