Remi Milligan, indie auteur, underground legend, and filmmaker, lost to time. Or was he? Should you choose to research his name, you’ll find a collection of sites and articles pointing towards a director from North London whose success was abruptly snuffed out by his mysterious disappearance. The man is, just like the bizarrely brilliant works these pages seem to praise, an enigma. Remi Milligan: Lost Director unpacks a multitude of media, ranging from first-hand experiences and interviews to actual footage from its auteur’s projects. You’ll no doubt be floored by the things you see and hear, but sooner or later, reality will take hold, leading to the realization that this is all, in fact, a fabrication. And a clever one at that.

The attention to detail is what’s most impressive about this recollection of Michele “Remi Milligan” Benedetto’s life. Docufiction movies as a whole are notoriously difficult to navigate, but director Samuel Lodato refines each detail so well that it becomes difficult to fathom how any of it could not be true. It all feels too real at times, even thought-provoking. This sentiment dispels the most common reason audiences choose to ignore the genre in the first place, seeing it as little more than a piece of satire.

Through footage captured of Milligan (played by Reza Diako) and professional interviews with fans and enthusiasts (along with past flings), you get an intimate and up-close picture of who this conundrum of a man really was behind closed doors. His works are also shown, which are essentially films within a film. Milligan was best known for his outlandish plots operating on shoestring budgets, with a healthy dose of blood and gore thrown in. The crew had to breathe life into those concepts as well, which just shows how diverse Lodato and his creative team really are. You’ll get a kick out of such lost classics as Song and Dance at Guantanamo Bay (2002), Satsuman (2003), and Killer Pencil (1998). Or perhaps the aptly titled companion piece to the William Friedkin classic, The Greek Connection (2001), during which time the fictional director suffered a life-altering injury. There’s even an exclusive look at Milligan’s unfinished 2006 sequel to Satsuman, titled Bride of Satsuman.

All these details do become a little convoluted as Remi Milligan: Lost Director progresses, but can often be ignored thanks to the many whimsical elements at play. At its core, this is Lodato’s love letter to the art of filmmaking, wrapped in a frequently funny and sentimental wrapper for cinephiles to dissect.