In the summer of 2000, a San Francisco-based artist using the moniker Someguy -- as in "I got this from some guy" -- sent 1,000 blank journals into the world, looking to create something like a blend of chain letter, outreach program and art project. He left them randomly in bathrooms, bars and newspaper dispensers and mailed them to anyone who asked, hoping people would fill them in, pass them on and eventually return them.
In three years, only one journal was returned.
Film industry veteran Andrea Kreuzhage discovered the project online and was taken with the idea. She decided to make her debut film about tracking down the other 999. Four years on, her discoveries have become the film "1000 Journals," which has its world premiere as part of this year's AFI Fest, screening Sunday and Monday.
"It really spoke to me, mainly the randomness and the lucky stroke that I came across this," she said. "I felt, of course, I could go hunt down one of these journals and try to make an entry, but then I thought that for the much larger context of the project, I could actually make a film about this. Once I started thinking in this direction I was electrified. I knew I didn't want to add to the journals, that my contribution was more looking at the canvas they provided."