Filmmaker and ‘Florida Man’ Lance Oppenheim on making HBO’s ‘Ren Faire’

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New York Premiere Of Documentary 'Ren Faire' at the Hudson Yards Featuring: David Herbert, Nancy Abraham, Sara Rodriguez, Lance Oppenheim, Josh Safdie, Ronald Bronstein with the Texas Renaissance Festival Knights Where: New York, United States When: 22 May 2024 Credit: Dave Allocca/Starpix/INSTARimages

Documentary filmmaker Lance Oppenheim's first feature, an exploration of the Florida retirement community The Villages, premiered at Sundance in 2020. At just 24 years old, Oppenheim managed to win the backing of director Darren Aronofsky, who produced Some Kind of Heaven.

“At the time, he didn't have as much going on,” Oppenheim recalls. “He said, ‘I will help you make your first feature, I'll help you get it financed, and we can leverage the resources of our company and my name to help people believe in you.’”

Oppenheim talks about pitching short films to the New York Times as a high schooler growing up in South Florida, and eventually cold emailing his way into Aronofsky’s inner circle. The documentarian also shares how his interest in people who get consumed by their own fantasies led him to Ren Faire, his HBO docu-series about the real-life succession drama unfolding at the country’s largest renaissance festival.  




Kim Masters


Robin Estrin