Film: The Dust Factory

The Dust Factory is a 2004 film starring Armin Mueller-Stahl, Hayden Panettiere and Ryan Kelley.

Ryan Flynn, traumatized after losing his father, falls off a bridge into a river and apparently drowns, only to find himself in a strange place called the Dust Factory occupied by people on the verge of death. Ryan reunites with his grandfather (who in the real world has Alzheimer's), and meets a young girl called Melanie (who in the real world has a brain aneurysm) who's convinced the Dust Factory is under an endless winter - not something Ryan or his grandfather can see.

Their ultimate fates, like everyone there, will be decided in a strange circus where they leap across the arena into the arms of a trapeze artist; if they fall into the dust below (hence the title) they return to the land of the living, but if not...

Contains examples of:

  • Billing Displacement: Armin Mueller-Stahl is top-billed on the film's credits, while the DVD packaging gives pride of place to Hayden Panettiere. Ryan Kelley, who only plays the main character, is billed third on the film and second on the DVD.
  • The Cast Showoff: This is the first (but not the last) movie to have Miss Panettiere singing over the closing credits. She also shows off her skating skills (again not for the last time).
  • The Danza: Kelley's character is called Ryan.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Melanie.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: After first Ryan and then Melanie leap into the dust, they meet in the real world (with no apparent memory of where they were) for seemingly the first time.