Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Canadian Music Week, CMW Film Festival, Mar 21-25

The 30th Slacker Canadian Music Week begins today in Toronto. It kicks off with an Opening Night Gala at the CN Tower featuring special guest performances from The Joel Plaskett Emergency and Ben Caplan.

Other performances tonight include a performance by two-time JUNO Award winner and acclaimed multi-platinum singer/songwriter Johnny Reid at the Mod Club; Trebele Charger at the Phoenix Concert Theatre; Blackie and the Rodeo Kings at Massey Hall; Die Mannequin at Revival; and 2K12 Korea Night featuring K-Pop music at Kool Haus.

Over the next five days, the festival will present over 900 artists from 40 different countries, playing shows at 60 different venues. The performances cover a range of styles such as rock, heavy metal, country, jazz and hip hop.

Canadian Music Week hosts its Film Festival from March 21-24. The opening film tonight is Joe Berlinger's Under African Skies about Paul Simon's return to South Africa 25 years after his controversial recording of the album Graceland in South Africa while it was under a cultural boycott. This will be followed by Andrew Bird: Yellow Fever, a documentary about the American singer-songwriter. The other screenings are The Vans Warped Tour Documentary; Sound it Out; Last Days Here; A short film program; Hit So Hard; The Muppets (1979) with special guest composer Paul Williams on hand for a Q&A; Parallax Sounds; Girl Walk // All Day.

Canadian Music Week also hosts several conferences, is partnered with the Canadian International Comedy Festival, and presents the Independent Music Awards (Indies) on Saturday.


CMW Film Festival 2012

Wednesday, March 21st


(Canadian Premiere)
Director: Joe Berlinger
Music: Paul Simon, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and more.
2012 | 102 minutes | U.S.A.
@ TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West)
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 Graceland’s 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.


Toronto Premiere
Director: Xan Aranda
Music: Andrew Bird
2011 | 81 minutes | U.S.A.
@ TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West)
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 releaseFever 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 22nd


SNEAK PREVIEW – Private Screening (Gain entry with your CMW wristband)
Co-presented with Exclaim! Magazine and Vans Warped Tour
Post-film Q&A with Van’s Warped Tour founder, Kevin Lyman
Director: Parris Patton
Music: Mike Posner, Never Shout Never, Suicide Silence, and more.
100 minutes | U.S.A.
@ Toronto Underground Cinema (186 Spadina Avenue)
Come meet Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman as he presents a Sneak Preview of an upcoming film and discusses 18 years on the road with the Vans Warped Tour. Witness the behind the scenes look at modern rock and roll’s biggest annual event.


Canadian Premiere
Director: Jeanie Finlay
Music: Saint Saviour, The Chapman Family, Detective Instinct, Das Wanderlust and more.
2011 | 75 minutes | UK
@ TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West)
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.


Toronto Premiere
Directors: Don Argott and Demian Fenton
Music: Pentagram
2011 | 90 minutes | U.S.A.
@ TIFF Bell Lightbox (350 King Street West)
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 SchoolThe 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 23rd

7:00PM | KEVIN

Canadian Premiere
Director: Jay Duplass
Music: Kevin Gant
2011 | 40 minutes | U.S.A.
@ NFB Cinema (150 John Street)
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.
Preceded by


Canadian Premiere
Director: David Kalinauskas
2011 | 9 minutes | Canada
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.


Canadian Premiere
Directors: Jesse Roesler & Jonathan Nowak
2011 | 21 minutes | U.S.A.
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.


Canadian Premiere
Director: P. David Ebersole
Music: Hole, and Roddy Bottum (Faith No More, and Imperial Teen)
2011 | 103 minutes | U.S.A.
@ NFB Cinema (150 John Street)
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 24th


Post-film Q&A with our very special guest, composer, Paul Williams.
Director: James Frawley
Music: Paul Williams, Kenny Ascher, and the Muppets.
1979 | 95 minutes | U.S.A.
@ NFB Cinema (150 John Street)
“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.


Work In Progress Screening
Director: Augusto Contento
Music: Ken Vandermark, David Grubb, Steve Albini, and more.
2012 | 90 minutes | Finland/France/Germany/U.S.A.
@ NFB Cinema (150 John Street)
Exploring the intimate connection between music and urban landscape in Chicago, Parallax Soundscontains 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.

9:15pm | GIRL WALK // ALL DAY

Canadian Premiere
Director: Jacob Krupnick
Music: Girl Talk (aka Gregg Gillis)
2012 | 77 minutes | U.S.A.
@ NFB Cinema (150 John Street)
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.

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