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34th Reel Music Festival

  • January 13, 2017 — February 5, 2017

Welcome to our 34th annual edition of Reel Music. We’ve been on the lookout all year for new works—and timely classics—to feature in our annual celebration of sound, music, and image. Whether your passion is jazz, blues, rock, soul, opera, classical, avant-garde—or anything in between—we hope you find something to discover and inspire you in this eclectic mix of the familiar and unknown. As always, our special thanks go to Music Millennium, True West, Willamette Week, Music Fest NW, All Classical Portland, BIAMP PDX Jazz, XRAY.FM, KBOO, PDX Pipeline, and Oregon Music News.


Press and Sponsorship Opportunities
The Festival is sustained through the encouragement, leadership, and generosity of loyal sponsors who value the unique artistic accomplishments of Northwest filmmakers and want to support the regional creative community.

For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Rachel Record, Development Manager, at 503-221-1156 x17 or rachel@nwfilm.org.

Please direct all press inquiries to Nick Bruno, Publicity and Promotions Manager, at 503-221-1156 x20 or nick@nwfilm.org.

78RPM

Directed by Joel Schlemowitz

Rather than an ethnographic documentation of obsessive record collectors in their basements, Schlemowitz’s film is a fond paean to an

A Poem is a Naked Person

Directed by Les Blank, Maureen Gosling

Les Blank’s portrait of Leon Russell went unreleased for 40 years before hitting the screen. Russell, who also coproduced the

A Song For You: The Austin City Limits Story

Directed by Keith Maitland

On the air for over 40 years, Austin City Limits is the longest running music program on television. Originally intended

Arvo Pärt: Even if I Lose Everything

Directed by Dorian Supin

Dorian Supin’s intimate film of minimalist Estonian composer Arvo Pärt provides a warm and delicate portrait of the maestro’s philosophy of

Bang! The Bert Berns Story

Directed by Bob Sarles

Though he died at age 37, Bert Berns managed to become one of the most important songwriters of the 1960s.

Blackhearts

Directed by Fredrik Horn Akselsen, Christian Falch

Blackhearts takes a fresh look at the notorious Norwegian black metal music scene—but from a striking new angle. We travel

Bobby Blue Bland: Two Steps from the Blues

Directed by Paul Spencer

Memphis legend Bobby "Blue" Bland (1930-2013) began his career with B.B. King and ballad singer Johnny Ace in the 1950s,

Cinesonika: Celebrating the Soundtrack

Directed by Various

Cinesonika is a semi-annual conference at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC that showcases new experimental of film and video

Cocksucker Blues

Directed by Robert Frank, Danny Seymour

In 1972, famed photographer (The Americans) and filmmaker Robert Frank followed the Rolling Stones on their first North American tour

Contemporary Color

Directed by Bill Ross, Turner Ross

Only David Byrne could mastermind this surprising fusion of pop music and swirling pop ceremony. Byrne is joined on stage

Gangbé!

Directed by Arnaud Robert

Benin’s Gangbé Brass Band has been touring the world for 15 years, bringing their effervescent, high-energy brand of Afrobeat to

Gregory Porter: Don’t Forget Your Music

Directed by Alfred George Bailey

Shot over four years, Bailey’s film spans the life and career of singer and songwriter Gregory Porter, one of jazz’s most

Hired Gun

Directed by Fran Strine

You may know the front men of KISS, Ozzy Osbourne, and Metallica, but playing in their shadows are the prolific

How Sweet the Sound–The Blind Boys of Alabama

Directed by Leslie McCleave

Gospel greats The Blind Boys of Alabama have an amazing career—since meeting at a Talladega institute for the blind in

I Am the Blues

Directed by Daniel Cross

I Am the Blues provides a musical journey through the swamps of the Louisiana Bayou, the juke joints of the

I Called Him Morgan

Directed by Kasper Collin

“On the night of February 19, 1972, Helen Morgan walked into the East Village bar Slug’s Saloon with a gun

I Go Back Home–Jimmy Scott

Directed by Yoon-Ha Chang

I Go Back Home tells the story of an unlikely pairing of jazz legend Jimmy Scott and disillusioned German music

King of Jazz

Directed by John Murray Anderson

Newly restored to digital glory by Universal Pictures, this long-forgotten Technicolor musical revue stars legendary bandleader Paul Whiteman and soon-to-be-superstar

Mali Blues

Directed by Lutz Gregor

It is generally believed that the slaves who brought their music and traditional West African string instrument the ngoni—which evolved

Mose Allison: Ever Since I Stole the Blues

Directed by Paul Bernays

Paul Bernays’ affectionate portrait tells the story of legendary jazz/blues singer, songwriter, and pianist Mose Allison (1927-2016)—called the “jazz sage”

NW Music Video Showcase

Directed by Various

Music video making thrives in the Northwest as this showcase of new collaborations by bands and directors working in Portland,

One More Time with Feeling

Directed by Andrew Dominick

Andrew Dominik’s One More Time with Feeling is a remarkable black-and-white document of the creation of Nick Cave & the

Pianists Street

Directed by Mariano Nante

On Rue Bosquet, a small street in Brussels, two identical buildings stand side by side. One is the home of

The Ballad of Fred Hersch

Directed by Charlotte Lagarde, Carrie Lozano

Internationally renowned jazz pianist Fred Hersch has been playing professionally for the better part of four decades. Hersch has always

The Devil’s Horn

Directed by Larry Weinstein

From Adolphe Sax’s workshop of the 1840s to the legendary era of jazz and bebop, the saxophone was forbidden (even

The Jazz Loft According to W. Eugene Smith

Directed by Sara Fishko

In 1957, heralded LIFE Magazine photo essayist W. Eugene Smith moved into an old building in Manhattan’s Flower District. Populated

The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé! A Trip Across Latin America

Directed by Paul Dugdale

In early 2016 the Rolling Stones toured South and Central America, performing sold-out shows in Mexico City, Lima, Buenos Aires,

Two Trains Runnin’

Directed by Sam Pollard

In June, 1964, college students from throughout the country, impassioned by the civil rights movement, traveled to Mississippi in what

Vince Giordano: There’s a Future in the Past

Directed by Dave Davidson, Amber Edwards

What does it take to keep Jazz Age music going strong in the 21st century? Two words: Vince Giordano --

Yallah! Underground

Directed by Farid Eslam

Through exuberant performances and heartfelt interviews, Farid Eslam goes deep into the world of alternative Arab music before and during