One morning, while browsing Reddit, filmmaker Jon Stevenson came across a very strange video on the internet: an old VHS tape called, Rent-A-Friend. Hosted by an enigmatic yet charming “Sam,” Rent-A-Friend offered entertainment, advice, and most importantly, friendship, to lonely people in a pre-digital age. “Who would watch this?!” Stevenson asked himself. The answer to that question would ultimately become the story of Rent-A-Pal.
Starring Wil Wheaton (Stand By Me, Star Trek: The Next Generation), Brian Landis Folkins (Hoax), Kathleen Brady (Breaking Bad) and Amy Rutledge (Neighbor), Rent-A-Pal arrives in select theaters and On Demand September 11th via IFC Midnight.
Set in 1990, a lonely bachelor named David (Brian Landis Folkins) searches for an escape from the day-to-day drudgery of caring for his aging mother (Kathleen Brady). While seeking a partner through a video dating service, he discovers a strange VHS tape called Rent-A-Pal. Hosted by the charming and charismatic Andy (Wil Wheaton), the tape offers him much-needed company, compassion, and friendship. But, Andy’s friendship comes at a cost, and David desperately struggles to afford the price of admission.
Wil Wheaton first earned critical acclaim as Gordie Lachance in Rob Reiner’s Stand By Me at age 12; at 14, he began his four-year turn as Wesley Crusher on the hit TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation. Since then, Wil has appeared in dozens of films and TV series including: TNT’s Leverage, SyFy’s Eureka, and CBS’s The Big Bang Theory. An accomplished voice actor, Wil has lent his talents to animated series including Family Guy, Teen Titans, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Batman: The Brave and the Bold. His video game credits include four installments of Grand Theft Auto, among others.
Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, Jon Stevenson has been a filmmaker since his formative years. At age 13, he worked his first summer job as a dog groomer and saved up $650 to buy his first camcorder. While attending Colorado Film School, he met his life-long filmmaking partners, Jimmy Weber, Annie Baker, Brandon Fryman, and Scott Park—all of whom collaborated on Rent-A-Pal. Stevenson served as DP on Weber’s short film Incubator as well as his feature EAT. In 2018, he joined Pretty People Pictures, a genre film production company based in Denver. Rent-A-Pal is his first feature film.