Music Films/Music City
Austin to Boston | Director: James Marcus Haney. USA. | Five old VW camper vans. 4 bands. 3 thousand miles. 2 weeks. 1 gloriously backwards tour. Featuring Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett and narrated by Gill Landry, this documentary is about a modern tour, done the old-fashioned-way. Cast: Gill Landry, Bear’s Den, Ben Howard, Ben Lovett, The Staves, Nathaniel Rateliff. Tennessee Premiere.
Buskin’ Blues | Director: Erin Derham. USA. | In the small mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina, a mysterious subculture of world-class street musicians reveal their troubles and triumphs in using public performance to disrupt indifference, hone their talents, and foster community. World Premiere.
Country: Portraits of an American Sound | Director: Steve Kochones. USA. | Country: Portraits of an American Sound explores the history and culture of country music through the lens of the photographers who have captured the ideals, lifestyles and personalities of country music artists for over 80 years. Featuring the work of photographers: Les Leverett, Leigh Weiner, Henry Horenstein, Henry Diltz, Raeanne Rubenstein, David McClister and Michael Wilson. Cast: Rosanne Cash, Roy Clark, Merle Haggard, Lyle Lovett, Charley Pride, LeAnn Rimes, Kenny Rogers, Tanya Tucker, The Band Perry, Keith Urban. World Premiere.
Heartworn Highways Revisited | Director: Wayne Price. USA. | Heartworn Highways Revisited captures a new community of Nashville-based singer-songwriters whose work is heavily influenced by the “Outlaw” artists presented in the 1976 documentary, Heartworn Highways. Like its predecessor, the film observes their intimate world during a time when folk music is experiencing a renaissance. Cast: John McCauley, Jonny Fritz, Langhorne Slim, Shovels & Rope, Guy Clark, Shelly Colvin, Andrew Combs. Southeast Premiere.
How Sweet the Sound – The Blind Boys of Alabama | Director: Leslie McCleave. USA. | Filmed over the course of ten years, How Sweet the Sound tells the story of The Blind Boys of Alabama. They met as children in the 1930’s at a state-run segregated vocational school and would become one of the last great gospel quartets, traversing the famed “gospel highway” and beyond. As the surviving band members recount their unlikely success story, we see a rare, frank view of life on and off the road with these renowned performers, now in their 70’s and 80’s. World Premiere.
Imba Means Sing | Director: Danielle Bernstein. USA, Canada and Uganda. | Moses, Angel and Nina journey from the slums of Kampala to becoming members of the Grammy-nominated African Children’s Choir. Imba Means Sing is an intimate look at the inner lives of these young people and the joys and challenges they face through this life-altering opportunity. Tennessee Premiere.
Made in Japan | Director: Josh Bishop. USA, Japan. | From Executive Producer Morgan Spurlock, Made in Japan is the remarkable story of Tomi Fujiyama, the world’s first Japanese country music superstar. It is a funny,yet poignant, multicultural journey through music, marriage and the impact of the corporate world on the dreams of one woman. Cast: Tomi Fujiyama, Elijiah Wood. Southeast Premiere.
My Voice, My Life | Director: Ruby Yang. Hong Kong. | Oscar® winner Ruby Yang for My Voice, My Life, chronicles the trials and tribulations of a group of under-privileged middle and high school students as they undergo six months of vigorous training to produce their first stage musical. A journey of self-discovery and growth, their stories challenge every parent, teacher and policy maker to reflect on the ways we nurture our young people and their talents. Tennessee Premiere.
Orion: The Man Who Would Be King | Director: Jeanie Finlay. UK. | Jimmy Ellis was an unknown singer plucked from obscurity and thrust into the spotlight as part of a crazy scheme that had him masquerade as Elvis back from the grave. With an outlandish fictional identity torn from the pages of the novel Orion by Gail Brewer Giorgio, the backing of the legendary Sun Records, and a voice that seemed to be the very twin of Presley’s, the scheme concocted in the months after Presley’s death exploded into a cult success – and the ‘Elvis is alive’ myth began. Southeast Premiere.
The Record Man | Director: Mark Moormann. USA. | Henry Stone shaped and catapulted the Miami sound into the mainstream with his unique independent record label, TK Records. From KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Get Down Tonight,” to George McCrae’s “Rock Your Body,” to Anita Ward’s “Ring My Bell,” the hits kept coming. With the death of disco, came the end of TK Records, but not the end of Stone. Tennessee Premiere
Revival: The Sam Bush Story | Directors: Wayne Franklin, Kris Wheeler. USA | Not many musicians can lay claim to being the ‘father’ of an entire genre of music. Sam Bush can. Labeled the ‘Father of Newgrass’ by a who’s-who of the Americana music world, Sam has become the icon of his own genre. From jam bands to the Avett Brothers, from Chris Thile to Zac Brown, many of today’s biggest acts in Bluegrass, Newgrass, and Americana owe a debt of gratitude to Sam, but where does he fit in the new world of acoustic music? Cast: Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Chris Thile, The Avett Brothers, Bela Fleck, Del McCoury, Ricky Skaggs, John Oates. World Premiere.
Sweet Micky for President | Director: Ben Patterson. USA. | Music and politics collide when international music star, Pras Michel of the Fugees, returns to his homeland of Haiti following the earthquake of 2010 to mobilize a presidential campaign for Haiti’s most controversial musician: Michel Martelly (aka Sweet Micky). The politically inexperienced pair set out against a corrupt government, civil unrest, and a fixed election. When Pras’s former bandmate, superstar Wyclef Jean, also enters the presidential race, their chances seem doomed. But with the help of a few friends, including Ben Stiller and former president Bill Clinton, they never give up on their honest dream of changing the course of Haiti’s future. Cast: Pras Michel, Michel Martelly, Wyclef Jean, Ben Stiller. Tennessee Premiere.