Lance Oppenheim Talks ‘Some Kind of Heaven,’ Florida Influences, And Darren Aronofsky Collaboration

Just fyi "Some Kind of Heaven" is a highly recommended director by myself and the Find Your Film podcast crew!

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Some Kind of Heaven started as a college thesis for director Lance Oppenheim, and this documentary about Florida’s The Villages is now a full fledged project. Executive produced by Darren Aronofsky, the project centers on several people who call The Villages home, and thanks to a mixture of stylized and humanistic filmmaking, Some Kind of Heaven resonates. My video interview with Oppenheim is featured in this post.

Dennis Dean in “Some Kind of Heaven.” (Magnolia Pictures)

Lance Oppenheim’s contact with director Darren Aronofsky was not gifted to the young filmmaker. Instead, he tried to track down Aronofsky’s email address until he ultimately found him (this discovery came through a contact, but not without much determination).



The proof is in the pudding, and Aronofsky became one of the indie projects biggest supporters. Unlike many documentaries, Some Kind of Heaven is stylized to give The Villages a 1950s, suburban dreamland type of vide (think Douglas Sirk meets Carl Hiassen).

Barbara Lochiatto in “Some Kind of Heaven” (Magnolia Pictures)

As much as I loved the eye catching visuals of Some Kind of Heaven, it’s the individulas who shine through in the documentary. I was hooked in to viewing the lives of these Central Florida residents (Barbara Lochiatto’s story was my personal favorite), and Lance Oppenheim wisely brings a ton of humanity into the mix amidst all the cinematic flourishes.

Check out our Find Your Film review of Some Kind of Heaven (Eric Holmes, Bruce Purkey and I all give the proverbial thumps up to documentary). In the interview, I mention one of the main people as “David,” but he’s actually Dennis Dean. My mistake! 

Check out my interview with Lance Oppenheim as he talked about how growing up in Florida influences him as a storyteller, working with Darren Aronofsky, and building trust with the people who populate Some Kind of Heaven.

Some Kind of Heaven hits theaters and on demand January 15, 2021 via Magnolia Pictures.

Speaking of filmmakers, check out our recent director’s spotlight on Oscar Micheaux. We spotlight his features Within Our Gates and Body and Soul in the episode:

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