INDEPENDENCE — Independence Cinemas screened a documentary by local producer Daniel Shepard this weekend.

Shepard grew up in Independence and graduated from Pittsburg State University in 2006.

The documentary, “NUTS!” was produced by Shepard and is based on the true story of Dr. John Romulus Brinkley. Brinkley was a con man and small-town doctor in Kansas. He believed he could cure a number of ailments — the main one being male impotence — by transplanting his patients with goat testicles.

Brinkley also started his own radio station, got rich and was nearly elected governor of Kansas twice before his downfall.

The film won the Best Editing Award at the Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the grand jury prize there. It also one the Ashland Independent Film Award for best editing and has been nominated for prizes at many other festivals.

“I hope people like it,” Shepard said in a release. “It’s a funky, weird little movie. It’s definitely artsy and creative and I’m interested to see how people connect to it.”

Shepard attended the first showing and fielded questions from the audience.

While at PSU, he interned for the Inside the Actors Studio in New York, and after graduating worked there for eight years.

Around 2010, Shepard began producing projects outside of work and eventually started a company, Cartuna, with producing partner James Belfer. Cartuna focused on animated short films for adults.

“NUTS!” is one of the first projects from Cartuna. Director Penny Lane reached out to Cartuna about working on the project.

“I was fascinated by the story and the fact that they needed 35 minutes of animation and they needed it pretty quickly on a small budget,” Shepard said in a release.

“NUTS!” is screening at Independence Cinemas today at 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.

“I’m excited that I get to bring it home and share it with friends and family,” Shepard said in a release. “I’m very thankful that it came into my life.”

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.