TORONTO - February 14, 2012 - CMW Film Fest 12 returns with its fifth annual installment, taking place March 21 - 24 in Toronto. Presented by Tribute Entertainment, the festival highlights an eclectic mix of movie premieres, special screenings, retro rarities, and limited engagements at three different venues, including the TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square (350 King Street West), the NFB Cinema (150 John Street) and The Toronto Underground Cinema (186 Spadina Avenue). This year's festival features everything from drama to comedy to documentaries to special appearances and Q&As with some of the films' stars, directors and more. Individual tickets can be purchased online at tiff.netand cmw.net, at the Tiff Bell Lightbox Box Office daily 10am - 10pm or by calling 416-599-TIFF(8433). Admission is included with a Canadian Music Fest wristband available for purchase at www.canadianmusicfest.com
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21: TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square
7:00 p.m. - UNDER AFRICAN SKIES
2012, 102 minutes, U.S.A.
Director: Joe Berlinger
Music: Paul Simon, Ladysmith Black Mambazo and more
When Paul Simon went to South Africa in 1985 to begin work on his multiple platinum selling and Grammy winning album, Graceland, he broke a U.N. cultural boycott, which was put in place to help end apartheid. The political controversy of that has quietly followed Simon ever since.
Twenty-five years later, Academy Award nominated filmmaker, Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster) travels with
Simon back to South Africa where he is reunited with many of the musicians that he worked with on Graceland, sits down with Dali Tambo (co-founder of Artists Against Apartheid) to discuss the political implications of his breaking of the cultural boycott, and of course performs a massive concert celebrating the 25th anniversary of the groundbreaking and genre-bending album's release.
With a surprising wealth of footage from Gracelandís recording sessions, Under African Skies could easily have just been about that, but Berlinger and Simon recognize that the politics surrounding the recording are just as crucial a part of music history as the album itself.
9:45 p.m. - ANDREW BIRD: FEVER YEAR
2011, 81 minutes, U.S.A.
Director: Xan Aranda
Music: Andrew Bird
Xan Aranda's documentary about singer-songwriter Andrew Bird is a beautiful profile of an incredibly driven artist on tour who perseveres through poor health, rather than risk losing momentum that he's worked so hard for. Filmed in 2009 during his busiest tour schedule to date, Aranda captures Bird with a perpetual fever, often miserable, but always ready and grateful to perform for his fans.
An intimate look at Andrew Bird's personality and creative process, Andrew Bird: Fever Year also contains spectacular concert footage of nearly a dozen of Bird's baroque pop songs. There are no plans to release Fever Year on video, so if you're a fan of Andrew Bird or just of unique artist profiles, do not miss this screening.
THURSDAY, MARCH 22: TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square
7:00 p.m. - SOUND IT OUT
2011, 75 minutes, U.K.
Director: Jeanie Finlay
Music: Saint Saviour, The Chapman Family, Detective Instinct, Das Wanderlust and more.
Over the last five years an independent record shop has closed in the UK every three days. Sound It Out is a documentary portrait of the very last surviving vinyl record shop in Teesside, North East England.
A cultural haven in one of the most deprived areas in the UK, Sound It Out documents a place that is thriving against the odds and the local community that keeps it alive.
A distinctive, funny and intimate film about men, the North and the irreplaceable role music plays in our lives.
Think High Fidelity with a Northern Accent.
9:15 p.m. - LAST DAYS HERE
2011, 90 minutes, U.S.A.
Directors: Don Argott and Demian Fenton
Cult rock legend Bobby Liebling has been churning out genre-defining hard rock for over 36 years as the lead singer of the band Pentagram. Various acts of self-destruction, multiple band break-ups, and botched record deals have condemned his music to obscurity. Frozen for decades in his parents' basement, Bobby is finally discovered by the heavy metal underground. With the help of Sean 'Pellet' Pelletier, his friend and manager, Bobby struggles to overcome his demons.
Directed by Don Argott and Demian Fenton (Rock School, The Art of the Steal), Last Days Here chronicles the triumphs and downfalls of this underground icon who finds himself at the crossroads of life and death.
FRIDAY, MARCH 23: NFB Cinema
7:00 p.m. - KEVIN
2011, 40 minutes, U.S.A.
Director: Jay Duplass
Music: Kevin Gant
In Austin, TX in the early '90s, Kevin Gant was the Duplass Brothers' hero. They reveled in Kevin's exploratory musical style and playful spirituality. But in 1995, Kevin mysteriously disappeared. Jay Duplass' documentary debut explores who Kevin is, how he lost his inspiration, and what he must do to get it back.
Kevin marks the first time that the Duplass Brothers (Cyrus, The Puffy Chair, Baghead, and Jeff, Who Lives At Home) have tried their hand at documentary filmmaking, and it should be no surprise to fans of their previous films that the transition seems to have been effortless. Kevin is a moving profile of a tragically unsung talent and singular personality.
LAST MUSIC MAN
2011, 9 minutes, Canada
Director: David Kalinauskas
A profile of local music promoter, Dan Burke, which looks at his impact on the Toronto music scene over the last decade plus, as well as his former career as a journalist, and his struggles with drug addiction.
MAN & MACHINE: A NAKED ROBOTIC LOVE STORY
2011, 21 minutes, U.S.A.
Directors: Jesse Roesler & Jonathan Nowak
Experience the love story and “new music” generated by an unconventional pair of musicians and performance artists in Ghent, Belgium. Godfried and Moniek built an entire orchestra of robotic instruments designed to be conducted in the nude using Doppler sonar radar.
9:00 p.m. - HIT SO HARD
2011, 103 minutes, U.S.A.
Director: P. David Ebersole
Music: Hole, and Roddy Bottum (Faith No More, and Imperial Teen)
Hit So Hard is a pull-no-punches portrait of the hell-and-back life of Patty Schemel, the hard-hitting drummer of Courtney Love's seminal rock band, Hole, during its peak years. As a young girl who always knew she was different from the other kids in her farm town home outside of Seattle, Patty never dreamed she would one day have her picture on the cover of Rolling Stone. But she also never fathomed that she could lose it all. A true survivor of what we now know was the disaffected slacker generation, Patty found herself, like her friend Kurt Cobain (who is featured prominently in the film via private home videos), embraced by the dark side. An unprecedented and unflinching inside look at one of the 90s most crucial and controversial groups.
SATURDAY, MARCH 24: NFB Cinema
4:00 p.m. - THE MUPPET MOVIE
Director: James Frawley
1979, 95 minutes, U.S.A.
Post-film Q&A with Paul Williams
Music: Paul Williams*, Kenny Ascher, and the Muppets.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it. It's something that I'm supposed to be. Someday, we'll find it. The Rainbow Connection. The lovers, the dreamers, and me. La da da dee da da doo. Ba da da da da dee da doo.”
A story about following your dreams, The Muppet Movie features some of the most beautiful and stirring songs ever written for a film, and 33 years after its release, they haven't lost any of their power. CMW Film Fest is beyond thrilled to present a retrospective screening of The Muppet Movie with a very special post-film Q&A with composer, Paul Williams, to discuss his experiences working on the film with Jim Henson, the longevity the film and its soundtrack, and much more.
*Paul Williams, composer, will be in attendance.
7:00 p.m. - PARALLAX SOUNDS
Work In Progress Screening
2012, 90 minutes, Finland/France/Germany/U.S.A.
Director: Augusto Contento
Music: Ken Vandermark, David Grubbs, Steve Albini, and more.
Exploring the intimate connection between music and urban landscape in Chicago, Parallax Sounds contains stunning scenes of day-to-day Chicago, along with interviews with musicians who contributed to shape the vibrant Chicago underground music scene in the 90s and continue to do creative and relevant work today: Steve Albini, Ian Williams, David Grubbs, Damon Locks, Ken Vandermark, and Azita Youssefi.
Enhanced by a soundtrack composed by Ken Vandermark that features David Grubbs, Steve Albini and other great musicians from Chicago - don't miss this special chance to see a work in progress version of an
incredible film that most people won't be able to see until its final version is released in 2013.
SATURDAY, MARCH 24: The Toronto Underground Cinema
7:00 p.m. - NO ROOM FOR ROCK STARS: THE VANS WARPED TOUR
2012, 100 minutes, U.S.A.
Co-presented with Exclaim! Magazine and Vans Warped Tour
Post-film Q&A with Vanís Warped Tour founder, Kevin Lyman
Director: Parris Patton
Music: Mike Posner, Never Shout Never, Suicide Silence, and more.
Produced by Stacy Peralta (Dogtown and Z-boys), with more than 300 hours of film shot during the 2010 tour, No Room For Rock Stars documents the true stories of modern era rock and roll from every possible angle. From the kids in the van playing parking lots to gain notice, to the veteran stage manager whose life was saved by the tour, to the musician who crosses over to mainstream success while on the road,
No Room For Rock Stars is cinéma vérité story-telling at its finest. A historical retrospective or concert film this is not.
SATURDAY, MARCH 24: NFB Cinema
9:15 p.m. - GIRL WALK // ALL DAY
2012, 77 minutes, U.S.A.
Director: Jacob Krupnick
Music: Girl Talk (aka Gregg Gillis)
Girl Walk // All Day is a feature-length dance music video and tale of urban exploration that follow three dancers across New York City. They turn the city's sidewalks, parks, and stadiums into an evolving stage as a story of rebellion, love, and discovery unfolds. Shot entirely in public spaces, and funded entirely by crowd-sourcing, Girl Walk // All Day is a statement about the power of community and public space. Set to the album All Day by mashup musician Girl Talk, it's also an insanely fun love letter to New York.
*Canadian premiere - directly from being screened at this year's SXSW festival.
About Slacker Canadian Music Week
Celebrating 30 years, Canadian Music Week is Canada's leading annual entertainment event dedicated to the expression and growth of the country's music, media and entertainment industries. Combining four information-intensive conferences; a trade exposition; a film festival; a comedy festival; four awards shows and the nation's largest New Music Festival - Canadian Music Fest - CMW spans a five-day period from March 21 to March 25, 2012 at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel and over 60 various downtown Toronto venues, attracting participants from across the globe. For more information, visit www.cmw.net.