Wizard Mode reveals hidden story of B.C.'s world pinball champion

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Robert Gagno in Wizard Mode (Salazar Films)

Burnaby pinball wizard Roberto Gagno is starring in a new film, Wizard Mode, documenting his world championship win – and his experience of living with autism.

Gagno was named the best pinball player in the world in April, when he biffed out the rest at the world championships in Pittsburgh.

Pinball wizard Robert Gagno with his World Championship trophy (Maurizio Gagno)

SEE ALSO: B.C.'s pinball wizard crowned world champion

The new movie, directed by Jeff Petry and Nathan Drillot, follows the pinball wizard as he tries to balance his quest for pinball glory with his growing real world responsibilities.

In a joint email, Petry and Drillot told Vancity Buzz:

“Robert is an incredible person to film with. His understanding of the process and his ability to not let the camera distract him is truly unique. His family was immediately welcoming and took us in with open arms.

“It took a lot of respect on their part to open their lives up to our cameras and we feel honoured that they felt comfortable enough to allow Robert to travel on his own with us and take part in the film.”

Wizard Mode took two and a half years to make, and follows Gagno as he plays pinball in Denver, San Jose, Seattle, Chicago, New York, Pittsburgh and of course, Vancouver.

The movie is also Vimeo’s first ever Original feature film and documentary and was recently screened as part of the DOXA Documentary Film Festival.

Wizard Mode is currently available for rent or purchase online at Vimeo and will appear in theatres in the late summer.

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Jenni Sheppard Staff writer at Vancity Buzz. Happy Vancouverite. Traveller, snowboarder, film fan, feminist, geek, curler.
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