Showing posts with label Chicago International Movies and Music Festival. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chicago International Movies and Music Festival. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

FEST ALERT: CIMMfest Is Back This Thursday Through Sunday November 9-12th

Here at ChiIL Live Shows, we live for rock/punk/metal and love film, so it's no wonder we've been covering CIMMfest from the start! Now entering year 9, we'll be back again, shooting stills, and reviewing shows. Got your tickets? You can do a full on festival pass good for everything, like we have, or catch individual showings, and a few hybrid passes in between.

Thankfully, everyone's taste in tunes is different, and CIMMfest has something for everyone, happening simultaneously, all over town. Click HERE to check out the full lineup. Then check back with early and often, on line and social media, for our top picks, recaps, and more.


Highlights Opening Night: 





Click Image And Get Yours: 

Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMFest) No. 9 Announces Full Film Lineup
The Annual Four-Day Festival Runs November 9-12 Throughout Chicago

Penelope Spheeris 2017 BAADASSSSS Award for Lifetime Achievement Honoree and Film Retrospective, Celebrating Daptone Records and Remembering Chicago’s Classic Neo Era

The Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMfest) announces its full movie and music lineup for the ninth edition, running November 9-12, 2017, centered at the Davis Theater and running across multiple  venues throughout Chicago, including Martyrs’, Old Town School of Folk, GMan Tavern, Subterranean and others. Individual tickets for most events start at $10; 4-day festival passes start at $79. Festival passes and a la carte tickets are available at

This year’s multimedia festival features more than 40 events including two world premieres, 4 U.S. premieres, 5 Chicago premieres and 8 Midwest premieres; musical acts representing a wide variety of genres; and CIMMcon, CIMMfest’s dynamic professional and creative industry conference.

On Thursday Nov. 9, CIMMfest and CHIRP Radio present opening night with the Midwest Premiere of Living on Soul, a heartfelt hybrid documentary/concert film which wraps the story of soul-music powerhouse Daptone Records around electric Apollo Theater performances by label stalwarts like Antibalas, Budos Band, and the late Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones. The screening at Martyrs' will be followed by the official opening night afterparty, featuring a  live performance by Chicago soul diva Lili K, paying tribute to Sharon Jones, and DJing by Daptone co-founder Neal Sugarman.

Actress and podcaster Aisha Tyler makes her feature directorial debut with Axis, also screening on opening night at 7 p.m. at the Davis Theater. With an original score by Silversun Pickups, Axis stars Irish actor Emmett Hughes as a reformed Hollywood bad boy who finds his life unravelling in a series of phone calls as he drives across LA.

The weekend’s Penelope Spheeris’ retrospective begins with the first two installments of her Decline of the Western Civilization trilogy, playing back to back at 7:15 p.m. & 9:30 p.m., respectively, at the Davis Theater. 

Rounding off opening night is the story of John Lydon’s arguably more influential second band, told largely by Mr. Rotten himself, in the documentary The Public Image Is Rotten. Director Tabbert Fiiller joins PiL drummer-turned-Chicago music maven Martin Atkins for a post-screening conversation, at the Davis Theater. 

Full Schedule:

Films with strong Chicago ties include 2350 Last Call: The Neo Story, The Chicago Mixtape, It Never Ends, Karl Wirsum, Red Line Lounge, Bill's Records, Do U Want It?, Electric Heart, Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together, Psychogenic Fugue, Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution and Horn From the Heart: The Paul Butterfield Story, the first comprehensive screen portrait of one of Chicago blues' greatest native sons and CIMMfest No. 9’s closing film (Davis Theater, Sunday, November 12, at 7:30 p.m.). Join director John Anderson (Born in Chicago, Sam Lay in Bluesland) and producer Sandra Warren for a post-film Q&A. 

Closeup: Tank and the Bangas, a short doc about one of New Orleans’s most acclaimed new bands, will be screened in tandem with NOLA?, in which Big Easy artists, writers, and scene mainstays talk about the city’s musical past and post-Katrina present. A Q&A with Closeup director Charlie Steiner will follow the films, which screen at 2:40 p.m. on Sunday, November 12.

This year’s films accompanied with Live Music Performances include:

Living on Soul 
Thursday, November 9
See Opening Night listing above.

Hello Hello Hello : Lee Ranaldo : Electric Trim
Friday, November 10
An intimate portrait of a bold musical mind at work as the Sonic Youth guitar genius collaborates with novelist Jonathan Lethem, fellow axe innovator Nels Cline, and other creative fellow travelers to produce his new album Electric Trim. Q&A with filmmaker Fred Riedel to follow screening at the Davis Theater. Prior to the screening, Lee Ranaldo will perform at Subterranean on November 5.

Six Strings of Separation / Dark Star Originals
Saturday, November 11
Six Strings of Separation documents how luthier Tom Lieber, who began his career apprenticing with Jerry Garcia’s guitar maker, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead with a custom line of axes modeled on Jerry’s classic “Wolf” and “Tiger” guitars. Grateful Dead tribute band Dark Star Originals, featuring John Kadlecik, Mike Maraat, Kevin Rosen, Ahmer Nizam, and special guest John Kattke, will perform after the screening at Martyrs.

Tom Rush: No Regrets
Sunday, November 12
Folk troubadour Tom Rush takes residence at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk on CIMMfest’s closing day and evening with a screening of the documentary Tom Rush: No Regrets at 2 p.m, featuring a Q&A with the iconic singer, and an intimate live performance at 7 p.m., both in Old Town’s Szold Hall.

2350 Last Call: The Neo Story
Sunday, November 12
A recollection of the iconic Lincoln Park club that was a haven for goths, punks, and adventurous misfits for more than three decades before closing in 2015. There will be a Q&A with filmmaker Eric Richter, and longtime Neo DJs Suzanne Shelton, Jeff Moyer, and Scary Lady Sarah will spin after the screening at Gman Tavern on closing night.

The Third Root 
Sunday, November 12
Co-presented with the Chicago Latino Film Festival
Mexican guitarist Camilo Nu goes adventuring in search of his musical roots, crossing the Atlantic to find the Andalusian, Arab, and African antecedents of son jarocho, the traditional folk style of his native Veracruz. Camilo Nu will give a short acoustic performance after the 7 p.m. screening at the Davis Theater.

The Last Hot Lick / Cowboy Drifter
Saturday, November 11
Americana takes center stage at the Davis Theater with these back-to-back narrative films, beginning at 3:10 p.m.. The Last Hot Lick features Jaime Leopold, the charter bassist for psychedelic jug band Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, playing a fictionalized version of himself in this sweet, sad drama about an aging troubadour on a never-ending tour. Post-screening Q&A with Mahalia Cohen, producer Deborah Cohen, Jaime Leopold, and Jennifer Smieja, followed by a live performance by Leopold and Smieja at the Davis Theater.

Cowboy Drifter is the tale of a boozing, brawling rogue who gets more than he bargained for when he heads west in search of his old man, a failed country singer who abandoned his family decades ago. The killer soundtrack features the Revivalists, the White Buffalo, John Hiatt, Taj Mahal, and co-star Aubrey Peeples, formerly Layla Grant of TV’s Nashville. Post-screening Q&A with Peeples, writer/star Chuck Carrington, director Michael Lange, and producer/music supervisor Jonathan McHugh. 

Later that evening, Jaime Leopold and his band, the Short Stories, will perform at the Grafton Pub, followed by an intimate set by Aubrey Peeples.

A full list of CIMMfest’s movie and music events, in addition to the CIMMcon roster, can be found  at  

Highlights of confirmed films and musical acts at CIMMfest No. 9 are below:

Thursday, November 9, 7 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Aisha Tyler 
83 minutes

With an original score by Silversun Pickups, Criminal Minds and Archer co-star Aisha Tyler's directorial debut is a taut drama about a Hollywood bad boy who finds his life unravelling in a series of phone calls as he drives across LA. 

The Decline Of Western Civilization (USA) 
Thursday, November 9, 7:15 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Penelope Spheeris 
100 minutes

A preeminent artifact of American punk and one of the most influential music docs ever made, Spheeris's first feature unflinchingly captures the scene that emerged from Hollywood’s subterranean art culture of the late 1970s and the furor it spawned. Featuring concert footage and memorable interviews with punk pioneers Black Flag, X, the Circle Jerks, Catholic Discipline, Fear, and the sweet, sad, brilliant wreck that was Darby Crash and the Germs. 

Forty-Five: The Search for Soul (USA) 
Thursday, November 9, 7:30 p.m. (with Living on Soul)
Martyrs, 3855 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Anthony Ladesich
11 minutes

Johnny Starke is a DJ on a mission: to dig in every dusty thrift-shop record crate he can find until he unearths the great lost soul dance single. 

The Decline Of Western Civilization Part II: The Metal Years (USA) 
Thursday, November 9, 9:30 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Penelope Spheeris 
93 minutes

Spheeris's follow-up to her stunning documentary on Los Angeles punk depicts LA's metal scene from 1986 to 1988, when hair bands ruled the Sunset Strip. While tracking the fortunes of would-be glam gods like Odin, Seduce, and London, Decline II features interviews with actual hard-rock gods like Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper, Steven Tyler, Lemmy, and Paul Stanley and notoriously captures the era's aura of excess, misogyny, and sleaze.

The Public Image Is Rotten (USA) CHICAGO PREMIERE
Thursday, November 9, 9:15 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Tabbert Fiiller 
104 minutes

When the Sex Pistols imploded in early 1978 after a disastrous gig at Winterland in 
San Francisco, their controversial and misunderstood frontman ditched his Rotten 
nom de punk for his birth name and formed Public Image Ltd. John Lydon chronicles 
his own journey from sickly kid in a London council flat to international music 
legend, leading the postpunk cult band that was arguably more influential than his 
notorious first group. Post screening Q&A with director Tabbert Fiiller & former PiL drummer Martin Atkins.

Lili K plays Sharon Jones / Neal Sugarman DJ Set
Thursday, November 9 at 7:30 p.m.
Martyrs, 3385 N Lincoln Ave
96 minutes
In December 2014, Daptone Records celebrated its 20th anniversary with a three-night revue at the Apollo Theater, the first multi-night residency at the historic Harlem hall since James Brown did it in the ’70s. Anchored by galvanizing performances by Antibalas, Budos Band, Como Mamas, and the dearly departed Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones, this concert film/documentary blend tells the Daptone story in words and music and captures the family dynamic driving this funk/soul powerhouse. Lili K plays Sharon Jones / Neal Sugarman DJ Set to follow. 


The Chicago Mixtape (USA) 
Friday, November 10, 6 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Paola Piers-Torres
27 minutes

Opening CIMMcon Friday evening, this short documentary spotlights the teen poets of Louder Than a Bomb, fusing hip hop performance and social activism in the footsteps of mentors like Rhymefest and Chance the Rapper. Q&A with Kevin Coval and others after the screening. CIMMcon opening reception to follow. 

It Never Ends (France)  
Friday, November 10, 6:10 p.m.
Constellation, 3111 N Western Ave
Directed by Thomas Carillon
32 minutes

Drummer Avreeayl Ra, an acolyte of Sun Ra and an anchor of Chicago's free-jazz scene for decades, takes a tour of the city places that shaped his life and music in this short documentary. Q&A with Thomas Carillon and Avreeayl Ra to follow. 

The Decline Of Western Civilization Part III (USA) 
Friday, November 10, 7:30 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Penelope Spheeris 
86 minutes

Largely unseen for nearly two decades after its brief release, the third installment of Spheeris's Decline trilogy chronicles homeless teenage "gutter punks" living on the streets of Los Angeles and explores her relationship with one such kid, called Eyeball. While retaining the LA music frame of its predecessors, Decline III is as much about a generation deeply alienated from mainstream society, and Spheeris’s own journey toward becoming a foster parent to her once-blighted subjects. Introduction by Penelope Spheeris. 

Dudes (USA) 
Friday, November 10, 9:40 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Penelope Spheeris 
90 minutes

Introduced by Penelope Spheeris. 

Hello Hello Hello : Lee Ranaldo : Electric Trim (USA)  MIDWEST PREMIERE
Friday, November 10, 7:15 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Fred Riedel
76 minutes

An intimate portrait of a bold musical mind at work as the Sonic Youth guitar genius collaborates with novelist Jonathan Lethem, fellow axe innovator Nels Cline, and other creative fellow travelers to produce his new album Electric Trim. Q&A with filmmaker Fred Riedel to follow screening. 

Queercore: How to Punk a Revolution (Germany) MIDWEST PREMIERE
Friday, November 10, 9:30 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Yony Leyser
83 minutes

John Waters, Kathleen Hanna, and Peaches features in this kinetic fanzine of a doc tracing how a pair of Toronto underground filmmakers created a musical and cultural movement that opened up punk to radical queers. Q&A to follow with director Yony Leyser.

The Nth Power / Ghost Note / MonoNeon
Friday, November 10 at 9 p.m.
Martyrs, 3385 N Lincoln Ave


Saturday, November 11, 11:30 a.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Robert Clem
86 minutes

A long-overdue look at journey of young black men who found a way out of poverty through spiritual music in the first half of the 20th century. Tastefully mixing vintage clips, archival images, and interviews with members of the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Soul Stirrers, the Dixie Hummingbirds, and other groups, this is the quintessential history of gospel music’s legendary quartets and their enduring influence on rock, soul, and R&B.

Cassette: A Documentary Mixtape (USA) CHICAGO PREMIERE
Saturday, November 11, 12 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Zack Taylor, Georg Petzold
92 minutes

A deep dive into the rise, fall, and future – yes, we said future – of “music’s worst format” (the filmmakers’ words, not ours): the clunky, crap-sounding, revolutionary cassette, the first technology that made your tunes portable and shareable. Cassette limns the pre-digital joy of mix-making and the way cheap tapes gave early indie rockers and rappers a crucial path to market, but it transcends sprocket nostalgia in its portrait of the now-elderly Dutch engineer who invented the goddamned things.

Saturday, November 11, 1:30 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Abi Lewis
50 minutes

Keith Crombie was the cranky, contrarian spirit of Newcastle jazz, presiding for decades over the English city’s premier dive — Jazz Café, a home away from home for anyone from Eric Burdon and Wynton Marsalis to generations of young Geordie misfits. This atmospheric portrait recounts his early adventures in the music business (and, just maybe, the mob) and celebrates a life dedicated to keeping the blue note beat alive. Post screening Q&A with director Abi Lewis.

Red Line Lounge (USA) 
Saturday, November 11, 1:30 p.m. (with Geordie Jazz Man)
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Jens Ericson
9 minutes

A portrait of Chicago drummer Dave Russell, a former Son Seals and Jimmy Johnson sideman who’s fallen on hard times. Now homeless, he keeps the music alive with the Red Line Lounge Band, providing daily entertainment for Chicago commuters.

Scream for Me Sarajevo (USA) CHICAGO PREMIERE
Saturday, November 11, 2 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Tarik Hodzic
94 minutes

In a city besieged by shelling and sniper fire, it seemed a fantastical rumor: Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson was coming to Sarajevo play. An unlikely and inspiring story of people who risked their lives to perform for people who risked their lives just to live them.

The Icarus Line Must Die (USA) CHICAGO PREMIERE
Saturday, November 11, 3:10 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Michael Grodner
82 minutes

Fifteen years ago, the Icarus Line was rocketing to the top of the LA underground with a hot debut album and a major-label deal. Now frontman Joe Cardamone is 36 and broke, and the record companies won’t touch his new stuff. Plus, he’s getting death threats by text. Cardamone wrote the script and plays a thinly veiled version of himself in this No Wave-style noir about navigating the modern music biz, co-starring Ariel Pink and Keith Morris. Post screening Q&A with director Michael Grodner.

Saturday, November 11, 3:10 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave 
Directed by Mahalia Cohen
86 minutes

Jaime Leopold, the charter bassist for psychedelic jug band Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks, plays a fictionalized version of himself in this sweet, sad drama about an aging troubadour on a never-ending tour. Post-screening Q&A with Mahalia Cohen, producer Deborah Cohen, Jaime Leopold, and Jennifer Smieja, followed by a live performance by Leopold and Smieja.

We Sold Our Souls For Rock ‘N Roll (USA) 
Saturday, November 11, 4:00 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave 
Directed by Penelope Spheeris
90 minutes

This nooks-and-crannies exploration of Ozzfest played a handful of film fests upon release and his been virtually unseen since. Spheeris captures everything, from the observations of fans, groupies, tour-bus drivers, and pyrotechnicians to Ozzy’s backstage oxygen treatments, Slipknot visiting the Lincoln Memorial in full regalia, and performances by Black Sabbath, Primus, System of a Down, and many more. A rare treat for devotees of metal and backstage tour docs. Introduction and post-screening Q&A with Penelope Spheeris.

Saturday, November 11, 5:30 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Michael Lange
103 minutes

A soulful Americana soundtrack featuring the Revivalists, the White Buffalo, and Keb’ Mo’ accents this brooding, dark-humored drama about an aging rogue looking to shake the legacy of his dissolute country-singer dad. Q&A to follow with writer/star Chuck Carrington, co-star Aubrey Peeples, director Michael Lange and producer/music supervisor Jonathan McHugh.

Gregory Porter: Don't Forget Your Music (UK/USA)  MIDWEST PREMIERE
Saturday, November 11, 7:50 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Alfred George Bailey
85 minutes

A personal, visually striking chronicle of the soft-spoken, sartorially splendid singer's rise from Bakersfield to Brooklyn to late-blooming global fame as one of the most distinctive voices in jazz.

Six Strings of Separation (USA) 
Saturday, November 11, 8 p.m.
Martyrs, 3855 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Robert Liano
26 minutes

Acclaimed luthier Tom Lieber, who began his career apprenticing with Jerry Garcia’s guitar maker, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead with a custom line of axes modeled on Jerry’s classic “Wolf” and “Tiger” guitars. Performance by Dead tribute band Dark Star Originals to follow.

Saturday, November 11, 10 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Sean Hartofilis
70 minutes

Martin Ravin lives alone in a secluded lake house, mourning his murdered wife and consoling himself with Irish airs. One night he spies a trysting young couple commandeering his canoe for a moonlight ride; when only the boy returns, Martin takes matters into his own hands. Is he seeking justice? Vengeance? A way to keep his past at bay? A brisk, surprising thriller marked by dark humor and beautifully sinister musical interludes. Post- screening Q&A with Director/writer/actor Sean Hartofilis.

Saturday, November 11, 9:45 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Benjamin Mattingly
75 minutes

The first EDM-powered "silent" narrative film uses a wall-to-wall soundtrack (featuring Dash Berlin, Armin van Buuren, and many more) rather than spoken dialogue to steer a story about two Portland buds on a very trippy road trip to a big Vegas music festival. Post-screening Q&A with director Benjamin Mattingly, actors Amick Vicciello and Johnna, producer Scott Little.

Live Performance by Matt Muse
Saturday, November 11 at 5:00 PM
Gideon Welles, 4500 North Lincoln Avenue

NEWVICES / Various Blonde / Mesha Arant
Saturday, November 11 at 7:30 p.m.
Oromo Cafe, 4703 North Lincoln Avenue

Dark Star Originals / Six Strings of Separation
Saturday, November 11 at 8 p.m.
Martyrs, 3385 N Lincoln Ave

Lera Lynn
Saturday, November 11 at 8 p.m.
Old Town School, 4544 N Lincoln Ave


Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together (USA) 
Sunday, November 12, 12 p.m.
Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Stevenson J. Palfi
76 minutes

Made for public television, this effusive documentary gathered three generations of New Orleans piano legends — blues and boogie man Tuts Washington; his protégé, R&B pioneer Professor Longhair; and the great songwriter and producer Allen Toussaint, a Longhair disciple — for an historic keyboard summit. A film as rich in flavor as New Orleans's musical culture itself that will have you grooving and bouncing in your seats.

Sunday, November 12, 12 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Rebecca Weaver
115 minutes

A young artist eking out an aimless existence in San Francisco tries to sort out a battery of conflicting emotions upon returning to her small Wisconsin hometown, a year after her father’s death, for her best friend’s wedding. Weaver, who also wrote, edited, and stars as June, makes an assured feature debut in this sharply observed seriocomic character study; her husband, Wisconsin singer-songwriter Chris Irwin, composed the rootsy score. Post screening Q&A with director/writer/actor Rebecca Weaver, producer/composer Chris Irwin.

Sunday, November 12, 12 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Malcolm M. Mays
96 minutes

Writer/director Mays, currently co-starring in Snowfall, and rapper/actor Tristan “Mack” Wilds (of The Wire and Adele’s “Hello” video) are X and Nisha, childhood friends from South Central who turn a game of crooning smooth R&B versions of rock and pop classics into a series of viral tracks. A canny mix of urban drama, romance, bromance, and cautionary tale on the perils of returning to the ’hood.

Tom Rush: No Regrets (USA) 
Sunday, November 12, 2 p.m.
Old Town School of Folk Music, 4544 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Rob Stegman, Todd Kwait
85 minutes

The New England troubadour credited with launching the singer-songwriter movement and introducing audiences to the work of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, and Jackson Browne tells the story of his musical life. Tom Rush will take part in a Q&A after the screening and before his Nov. 12 live performance at the Old Town School.

It Must Make Peace (Canada/Mali) US PREMIERE
Sunday, November 12, 2:15 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Paul R. Chandler
82 minutes

Oxfam America and CIMMfest present a journey deep into the music and dance traditions that have framed life in Mali for generations but are under threat from poverty and war. A panel on Oxfam's work in Mali will follow the film, including a Q&A with Bob Ferguson and Jackie Nelson of Oxfam America.

Sunday, November 12, 2:40 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Fermin Muguruza
65 minutes

A people’s history of New Orleans culture wrapped in a making-the-album doc as Basque rocker and filmmaker Muguruza – known in Spain for his radical politics and multiculti musical blending – records in NOLA with local luminaries ranging from Preservation Hall to zydeco great Sunpie Barnes to bounce queen Katey Red. Between sessions, Big Easy artists, writers, and scene mainstays talk about the city’s musical past and post-Katrina present. Post screening Q&A with director William Miller.

David Bowie: The Last Five Years  (UK) 
Sunday, November 12, 4:30 p.m.
Comfort Station, 2579 N Milwaukee Ave
Directed by Francis Whately
90 minutes

Screening for free at Comfort Station, this BBC music doc goes behind the scenes at the making of Bowie's The Next Day and Blackstar albums, offering an intimate look at the final phase of one of the defining creative lives of our time.

Straight Into a Storm (USA) CHICAGO PREMIERE
Sunday, November 12, 4:45 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by William Miller
106 minutes

Let’s all go to the bar! Deer Tick’s 10th-anniversary gig on New Year’s Eve 2015 provides the spine for this time-shifting, beer-soaked chronicle of the indie rockers’ evolution into one of America's premier cult bands. Q&A to follow with filmmaker William Miller.

Sunday, November 12, 5 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Sam Radutzky, Josh Freund
96 minutes

Papa Grows Funk was the quintessential Crescent City groove band, a supergroup of local players who drew fans from around the world for their renowned Monday-night residency at the Maple Leaf Bar. Percolating with electric performances, this doc wraps the tale of the band and its breakup into a larger story about New Orleans music, crystallizing the tension between the ease of being a working musician in a city that supports homegrown talent like no other and the frustration that can come with wanting more than that.

The Third Root (Mexico) CHICAGO PREMIERE
Sunday, November 12, 7 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by Reed Rickert and Camilo Nu
68 minutes
Mexican guitarist Camilo Nu goes adventuring in search of his musical roots, crossing the Atlantic to find the Andalusian, Arab, and African antecedents of son jarocho, the traditional folk style of his native Veracruz. Followed by a performance by Camilo Nu.

2350 Last Call: The Neo Story (USA) WORLD PREMIERE
Sunday, November 12, 7 p.m.
GMan Tavern, 3740 North Clark Street
Directed by Eric Richter
46 minutes

Opened in 1979 as Chicago's first alternative dance club, Neo reigned for 36 years as a sanctuary for misfits, weirdos, and outcasts and ground zero for an explosion of fashion and music trends. Richter's labor-of-love documentary debut is a true testimonial of a club that not only outlasted its competitors but never lost its attitude, or its reputation as a place where people celebrated their individuality and danced their asses off. Q&A with Director Eric Richter, Neo DJs Suzanne Shelton, Jeff Moyer, and Scary Lady Sarah, Metro/Gman Tavern owner Joe Shanahan. Presented with CHIRP Radio.

Horn From The Heart: The Paul Butterfield Story (USA) 
Sunday, November 12, 7:30 p.m.
Davis Theater, 4614 N Lincoln Ave
Directed by John Anderson
96 minutes

Live Performance by Rich Jones and Fess Grandiose
Sunday, November 12 at 5:00 PM
Gideon Welles, 4500 North Lincoln Avenue

Individual advance tickets range between $6-$12 for festival screenings and events. Stay tuned for more information on and by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter and Instagram.

The Chicago International Movies and Music Festival (CIMMfest) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization dedicated to bringing together filmmakers, musicians, artists, industry leaders and audiences from diverse cultures around the world. In addition to producing year-round film screenings, concerts, and professional development programming, the organization produces one of Chicago’s most highly anticipated and largest cultural events of the year: CIMMfest. The four-day, 100-plus multimedia event features film premieres, live concerts and a dynamic professional and entrepreneurial industry conference. CIMMfest serves a growing, diverse community of artists, industry and fans, in order to reveal the transformative power of music to foster creativity and communication,educate, enlighten, and entertain.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Here at ChiIL Mama & ChiIL Live Shows, we can't wait for the 7th Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMfest). We've been covering the annual four-day showcase since 2012. CIMMfest is one of our favorites, combining two of our passions, and celebrating the inseparable connection between music and movies. Be there as the 7th annual CIMMfest unspools April 16-19, 2015

This year the multi-venue festival expands beyond its home base along the Milwaukee Avenue corridor – from Wicker Park to Logan Square – to include events in North Central, Lakeview, Hyde Park, the Loop and Pilsen.  Festival passes are still available at

Live scoring programs, during which bands, orchestras and soloists perform a film’s music score live in front of the projected movie, have become a signature draw for CIMMfest. This year’s offerings include movies live-scored by acclaimed composer Marc Ribot (Josef von Sternberg’s The Docks of New York), electronic trio Chandeliers (Hungarian animation Fehérlófia) and two more to be announced in coming weeks as part of the City's Lake FX Summit + Expo.

Movie highlights include the world premiere of John Anderson's Sam Lay in Bluesland, the U.S. premiere of Chinese punk rock doc Never Release My Fist, the North American Premiere of Brasil Bam Bam Bam and the Chicago premieres of Nick Hall's Joe Strummer doc I Need a Dodge! and Mark Shuman's Morphine meditation Morphine: Journey of Dreams. And for National Record Store Day – Saturday, April 18 – Metallica's Robert Trujillo will present the Chicago premiere of his film Jaco!, a tribute to the world’s greatest bass player Jaco Pastorius.

Music highlights of CIMMfest No. 7 include powerhouse vocalist Lisa Fischer (Twenty Feet From Stardom) for two shows at Thalia Hall, a DJ Event featuring sonic architect Hank Shocklee (Public Enemy's Bomb Squad) and Luftwerk technical director Liviu Pasare in conjunction with the premiere of synthesizer doc 808, and Sierre Leone's Refugee All-Stars following a showing of their self-titled documentary that launched them into worldwide fame.  The Saturday before the festival, CIMMfest presents a Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame Sendoff Party for Chicago drummer extraordinaire Sam Lay.

The movie Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars anchors an African Sidebar of a half dozen acclaimed films including Chicago premieres from South Africa, Niger and Mali, and a sneak preview of Andy Jones' work in progress film I Shot Bi Kidude about the mysterious disappearance of the world's oldest singer in Tanzania.

Honoree Julien Temple has been selected to receive the third annual BAADASSSS Award for his contributions as a filmmaker, documentarian and music video innovator. Temple chronicled the London punk scene in the ’70s via his relationship with The Sex Pistols and Malcolm McLaren (The Great Rock and Roll Swindle) and made groundbreaking music videos for The Kinks (“Come Dancing”), The Rolling Stones (“Undercover of the Night”) and David Bowie (“Jazzin’ for Blue Jean”) before going on to direct features. As part of the festival, a retrospective of Temple's films will be shown, including Absolute Beginners on 35mm, The Filth and the Fury (The Sex Pistols), Oil City Confidential (Dr Feelgood), Dave Davies: Kinkdom Come, Ray Davies: Imaginary Man and doc Rio 50 Degrees: Carry on CaRIOca! Previous BAADASSSS Award recipients are director-actor-musician Melvin Van Peebles and SXSW co-founder Louis Black.

CIMMfest 2015 occurs in tandem with the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events’ nascent Lake FX Summit + Expo, a free conference for artists, creative professionals and entrepreneurs. CIMMfest is programming film aspects for the Lake FX summit at the Chicago Cultural Center, Pilsen and Hyde Park, concurrent with the CIMMfest music and movies programming in Wicker Park/Logan Square/North Center and beyond.

Adam Montgomery, Senior Manager of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, joins CIMMfest this year as the festival’s Director of Film Programming. Esteemed Britain-based film journalist Andy Markowitz – cofounder of MusicFilmWeb – joins CIMMfest as Associate Film Programmer.

A sampling of confirmed films, musical acts and live scoring events for CIMMfest No. 7:

808: The Movie (Alexander Dunn, England, 94 min).   CHICAGO PREMIERE
A comprehensive history of the Roland TR-808, the iconic drum machine that shaped the face of ’80s hip-hop, R&B, rock and pop music and is still in heavy use today. Features Pharrell Williams, David Guetta, Phil Collins, Questlove, Diplo and Goldie, among others, waxing poetic about the influence of a drum machine that changed the world of music as we know it. CIMMfest is excited to program this film alongside live performances featuring local electronic musicians utilizing the famous sound of the 808. A special 808 DJ Event featuring Hank Shocklee and Liviu Pasare follows the movie at 1st Ward.

Basically Johnny Moped (Fred Burns, UK, 77 min).

Formed in 1974 by a group of school friends from Croydon, Johnny Moped was the band fronted by, and named after the enigmatic Paul Halford (aka Johnny Moped). By 1977 “punk rock’s idiot savants” were at the heart of London’s burgeoning punk scene and, for a moment, looked like contenders. Despite having Chrissie Hynde and Captain Sensible as past members, success was not to come their way and Johnny Moped is now largely forgotten… punk rock’s great lost band. Their story is a fascinating one that, along with some of the era’s most innovative music, deserves to be heard.
"Johnny Moped were better than the Clash and the Pistols put together." – Shane MacGowan

Billy Mize and The Bakersfield Sound (William J. Saunders, USA, 100 min)  CHICAGO PREMIERE
Billy Mize's contributions to Country and Western music helped shape the music industry as we know it. His raw-edged style of country music known for its piercing guitar and honest, down-to-earth lyrics became the cornerstone for artists such as Merle Haggard, Glen Campbell, and Buck Owens. His charm and golden voice are legendary among country music's elite, as is his passion for music.  In the prime of his career in the 1960's, Billy made it to the brink of superstardom, only to turn it down to focus on family life, but horrific tragedy forced him to seek solace in music once again.  At the age of 59, Mize suffered a stroke and lost his ability to speak and play guitar.  After several unsuccessful stints in speech rehabilitation, he was admitted to an experimental facility in Florida, where he miraculously re-gained the ability to sing. This inspirational documentary culminates with Billy Mize and the Bakersfield Sound (including Merle Haggard) performing for the first time in over 20 years. A swan song for an amazing and inspiring career.

Brasil Bam Bam Bam: The Story of Sonzeira (Charlie William Inman, Brazil/UK/USA, 69min). NORTH AMERICA PREMIERE
The documentary film goes to the heart of what really made Brazil famous. From Bossa to Samba to Batucada to Baile Funk, Rio's sounds have enchanted worldwide audiences since the 1950s. Gilles Peterson – BBC Broadcaster, Record Collector, DJ and supporter of Brazilian music for the last 25 years – traveled to Rio to create the super-group Sonzeira and record the seminal album Brasil Bam Bam Bam. This film tells the story of that journey. Featuring Seu Jorge, Elza Soares, Wilson Das Neves, Ed Motta, Marcos Valle and more.

Danny Says
(Brendan Toller, USA, 104 min).
A documentary on the life and times of Danny Fields. Since 1966, Danny Fields has played a pivotal role in music and “culture” of the late 20th century: working for the Doors, Cream, Lou Reed, Nico, Judy Collins and managing groundbreaking artists like the Stooges, the MC5 and the Ramones. Danny Says follows Fields from Phi Beta Kappa whiz-kid, to Harvard Law dropout, to the Warhol Silver Factory, to Director of Publicity at Elektra Records, to “punk pioneer” and beyond.  Danny’s taste and opinion, once deemed defiant and radical, have turned out to have been prescient.  Danny Says is a story of marginal turning mainstream, avant garde turning prophetic, as Fields looks to the next generation.

The Dicks from Texas (Cindy Marabito, USA, 70min).
Long before Austin made weirdness a civic virtue, The Dicks made it a cause. Three rawboned Marlboro Man types fronted by Gary Floyd, a fat queer with a penchant for fright wigs, this self-described "commie faggot band" helped put the Texas capital on the punk map in the early '80s with anthems like "Dicks Hate the Police" and "Wheelchair Epidemic." Cindy Marabito was there, and her super-DIY documentary is an affectionate oral history of a truly distinctive hardcore scene that, like the band and community it chronicles, makes up in attitude and personality what it lacks in polish.

Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll (John Pirozzi, Cambodia, 105 min)   
During the ’60s and early ’70s as the war in Vietnam threatened its borders, a new music scene emerged in Cambodia that took Western rock and roll and stood it on its head – creating a sound like no other. Cambodia musicians crafted this sound from the various rock music styles sweeping America, England and France, adding the unique melodies and hypnotic rhythms of their traditional music. The beautiful singing of their renowned female vocalists became the final touch that made this mix so enticing. After taking over the country in 1975, the Khmer Rouge began wiping out all traces of Western influence and eliminated artists and musicians, beginning one of the most brutal genocides in history. Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll tracks the twists and turns of Cambodian music as it morphs into rock and roll, blossoms and is nearly destroyed along with the rest of the country. In English and Cambodian with English subtitles.

East Nashville Tonight (Brad Barnes, Todd Barnes, USA, 85min).
In February of 2013, the Barnes Brothers attempted to shoot a documentary about the lives of Todd Snider, Elizabeth Cook and other touring songwriters residing in the burgeoning East Nashville neighborhood. They failed. Instead, drugs and booze took over. They ended up with East Nashville Tonight, the greatest hypothetical documentary stoner musical of all times. Todd Snider performs live Sunday, April 19 at City Winery Chicago.

The Front Man (Paul Devlin, USA, 72min).  CHICAGO PREMIERE
Disillusioned by the broken promise of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but still plagued by dreams of stardom, a charismatic musician goes on a 27-year journey in search of the meaning of success. Dynamic and abrasively funny, Jim Wood must reconcile his joy creating music and his wife Christie’s desire for a child with a culture in which anything short of celebrity is failure. Jim and Christie’s quest for fame takes a windy path through the homes of acclaimed musicians, a legendary recording studio, the set of a cult horror movie, and onto national television. Filmmaker Paul Devlin will be in attendance.

Hard Working Americans: The First Waltz (Justin Kreutzmann, USA, 90min)
What begins with a creaky rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner” and the firing of a freshly rolled number unfolds into a multilayered examination of what it means to be American. This rockumentary about the creation of supergroup Hard Working Americans creates an insightful snapshot of a fertile new collaboration for battered-but-unbroken hippy musical lifers Todd Snider, Dave Schools, Neal Casal, Chad Staehly, Duane Trucks and Jesse Aycock. The film follows Hard Working Americans behind the scenes in the studio as the band collaborates on its self-titled debut album and on the road for their first national tour. “Mixing intimate concert performances, road scenes, personal tales and studio footage, The First Waltz arrives at a crucial moment to remind us that Jerry Garcia is as important as Ben Franklin and that rock ’n’ roll is as much a birthright as the Constitution." – Dennis Cook.  Todd Snider performs live Sunday, April 19 at City Winery Chicago.

Hardcore DEVO Live! (Keirda Bahruth, USA, 85 min).
In the summer of 2014, DEVO embarked on a 10-city “Hardcore DEVO,” tour playing the seminal, experimental songs they created, pre-fame, in basements and garages in Akron, Ohio between 1974 and 1977. The band had not played most of these songs since that time. Filmmaker Keirda Bahruth documented this once-in-a-lifetime tour filmed June 28 at the Fox Theater in Oakland California.
Director Keirda Bahruth (Bob and the Monster) will be in attendance

The Hip-Hop Fellow (Kenneth Price, USA, 79min).
The Hip-Hop Fellow follows Grammy Award-winning producer Patrick Douthit, better known as 9th Wonder, through his tenure at Harvard University as he teaches The Standards of Hip-Hop, conducts research for his thesis and lectures at Duke University. The film centers on the emerging significance of incorporating hip-hop music studies into academia, and highlights the scholars at the forefront of preserving 40 years of hip hop culture. Featured interviews include Kendrick Lamar, Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Phonte, Ab-Soul, Young Guru, Dr. Mark Anthony Neal, Rapper Big Pooh, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, Dr. Marcyliena Morgan and DJ Premier.

I Need a Dodge! Joe Strummer on the Run (Nick Hall, Spain/UK, 67 min).   CHICAGO PREMIERE
It’s 1997 and Joe Strummer is interviewed live on Spanish Radio 3 from Glastonbury. During the interview he talks about his Dodge, a car he bought in Madrid 12 years earlier and which he later left in one of the city's car parks, unable to remember which one. A call is put out for the people of Madrid to search the local car parks for the missing Dodge. In 1984 Strummer found himself at a professional and creative crossroads. His erstwhile friend and band mate Mick Jones was enjoying new found success with Big Audio Dynamite while Joe was suffering the pressures and infighting of his rapidly disintegrating band, The Clash. It was in this context that he would turn up in Granada in southern Spain. Once in Spain Joe quickly made friends among the local rock bands. His first real creative challenge in the wake of the fallout from The Clash would be as producer of the second 091 LP in post-dictatorship Madrid. It was during the recording of the LP that members of Spain's most famous rock group Radio Futura helped Joe to buy the now legendary Dodge. The documentary looks at the period when, after eight intense years in the media spotlight, Joe was forced to choose a new path. We discover what initially drew Strummer to Spain, the truth behind the 091 recording sessions, and investigate what happened to Joe's beloved Dodge.

Jaco! The Film (Robert Trujillo, USA)   CHICAGO PREMIERE

On Saturday, April 18, Record Store presents the Chicago Premiere of Jaco!, the story of world’s greatest bass player Jaco Pastorius, his life, his music, his demise and ultimately the fragility of great artistic genius. There are few musicians who fundamentally change their instrument, and even fewer still who transcend their instrument altogether. Jaco, master of the fretless bass, did both. In 1976, his melodic “singing” bass style redefined the role of the bass in modern music. Almost overnight, critics hailed Pastorius as “the future of modern music,” alongside popular visionaries like David Bowie, Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Bryan Ferry, Lou Reed and Herbie Hancock. Produced by Metallica’s Robert Trujillo in association with Passion Pictures (Searching for Sugarman), Jaco! includes incredible insights from an array of artists including Flea, Joni Mitchell, Sting, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Geddy Lee, Bootsy Collins and Carlos Santana as well as Jaco’s family and friends. Producer Robert Trullio will be on hand to present the film and conduct a Q&A. Logan Cinema

Killer B3 (Murv Seymour, USA, 93 min).  CHICAGO PREMIERE
A documentary about the Hammond Organ, the 425-pound keyboard often called the beast. The Hammond B3 is the signature model that spit out one of the most unique sounds used in all styles of music, including, gospel, jazz, blues, rock, country, reggae and commercial soundtracks. Killer B3 captures the spirit and passion of players who have committed a lifetime to master the Hammond sound, choosing to make music with the complex and bulky instrument over the simplistic and portable keyboard, including organist, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Jimmy Mcgriff, Tony Monaco, Joey DeFrancesco, Shawn Brown, Pappa John DeFrancesco, Jimmy Smith, Jr. and Chicago’s own Chris Foreman (playing Fridays and Sundays at The Green Mill).

Morphine: Journey of Dreams (Mark Shuman, USA/Italy 91 min).   CHICAGO PREMIERE
The story of the iconic genre-busting 1990s “low rock” band Morphine is told by its surviving members and the coterie around them, sans narration, and made palpable through saxophonist Dana Colley's tour journals. Rare live performances from throughout the group's career woven into the tale display why the trio's unique and mesmeric sound continues to resonate with its fans and music lovers worldwide following the death of its singer, songwriter and two-string bassist Mark Sandman onstage at an Italian music festival in 1999. Vapors of Morphine will perform a special live show afterward at TBD

Never Release My Fist (Shui-Bo Wang, China/Canada).  U.S. PREMIERE

Oscar-nominated Chinese-Canadian director Wang Shuibo (Sunrise Over Tiananmen Square) premieres his latest work, a feature-length documentary on the life and music of punk rockers in Wuhan, the center stage of punk rock in China in the late '90s. The film follows Wu Wei, 39, who grew up in a blue color neighborhood in the Chinese industrial city of 20 million people on the Yangtze River, and has been the lead singer of SMZB, a Chinese punk band famous for its strong voice against the county's political system. He is known as the Godfather of Wuhan’s punk rock movement. NRMF also features Wu Wei's ex-wife Hu Juan, a beautiful drummer loved by everyone from the punk groups, Zhang Hai, the lead singer of Play To Death, who sold marijuana to open his small pizza restaurant after giving up music, and Kang Mao, a diehard punk and lead singer of SUBS who left Wuhan for Beijing when her all-girl punk band broke up. Sixteen years past, SMZB is the last punk band standing in Wuhan.

The Possibilities Are Endless (James Hall, Edward Lovelace, UK, 83min).  CHICAGO PREMIERE
In 2005 Scottish singer-songwriter Edwyn Collins, best known for fronting '80s postpunk band Orange Juice and for his out-of-the-blue 1994 solo hit "A Girl Like You," suffered a catastrophic cerebral hemorrhage that wiped his mind clean. This intimate, elliptical film, named for a phrase that was inexplicably on Collins' lips when he emerged from a coma, chronicles his intensely personal experience of recovery with structural boldness, visual imagination and sublime empathy, steering its course from near abstraction to brilliant clarity as Collins regains language, memory, music, humor and love.

The Road to God Knows Where (Uli M Schueppel, Germany, 89min). 
The Road to God Knows Where might just be the coolest student film ever made. Twenty-five years before Nick Cave bared his quasi-fictional soul in 20,000 Days on Earth (CIMMFest 2014), Schueppel – then studying at the German Film Academy; now one of Berlin's most respected indie directors – got a peek behind the veil, accompanying Cave and the Bad Seeds on a five-week US tour. He returned with this riveting vérité document, rarely screened since its 1990 release, that intimately captures the experience of life on the road for a budding icon adjusting uneasily to sobriety and celebrity.

Sam Lay in Bluesland (John Anderson, USA).  WORLD PREMIERE

He was on drums when Bob Dylan went electric at Newport. He was in the studio and on the road with blues greats Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Little Walter and James Cotton. He was a founding member of the groundbreaking Paul Butterfield Blues Band. He is, at 79, still an active part of the Chicago blues scene and the man some call “the greatest drummer of all time.”  Blues’ most celebrated drummer finally steps into the spotlight in Sam Lay in Bluesland. Recognized almost as much for his sartorial style as for his signature double-shuffle beat — his capes, crowns, canes and cowbells are the stuff of legend— Sam Lay has played a key role in the evolution of the blues for almost 60 years. Against a backdrop of the troubled, racially turbulent 1960s, Lay’s singular life and career is told through his own words, music and personal films in this new feature-length documentary about his life and career, featuring appearances by James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite, Iggy Pop, Corky Siegel, Barry Goldberg, Nick Gravenites, Jim Keltner, Marcy Levy, Gary Mallaber and Kenny Wayne Shepard. Sam Lay appears live at a Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Send-Off Celebration, Saturday, April 11 at Rosa's.

Shake the Dust (Adam Sjöberg, USA)
Colombia, Cambodia, Uganda, Yemen. Breakdancing unites people worldwide in the common languages of movement, expression and hip-hop. In this feature documentary, rap superstar and producer Nas presents a broad look at a movement inspiring hope in global urban communities.

Teenage Ghost Punk (Mike Cramer, USA, 99min).
When a family moves from rural Michigan to a Victorian house near Chicago, strange things start happening. Creepy noises. Unexplained messes. Old punk rock albums go missing. Suspecting the house is haunted, they hire a wacky medium and a team of bumbling paranormal investigators to help, but teenage daughter Amanda discovers on her own that the house is haunted by the ghost of a 17-year-old punk guitarist named Brian, and his fun-loving band of dead pals. Amanda and Brian form a friendship that soon veers toward romance. But the past collides with the present. From Oak Park lawyer-turned-filmmaker Mike Cramer.

Theory of Obscurity: A Film About The Residents (Don Hardy, USA).  MIDWEST PREMIERE
After programming a short preview of the film last year, CIMMfest presents the full story of the renegade art, sound and video collective known as The Residents. Throughout a career spanning 40 years, many details surrounding the group are still shrouded in mystery, including the identities of its members. As early adopters of short-form video as a vessel for visual interpretations of music, The Residents were in heavy rotation during the early days of MTV, always performing anonymously behind masks and costumes.  Through candid interviews and fly-on-the-wall observations, this film tells the story of a group that has always played by its own rules and never caved to convention.  Obscured behind eyeball masks and tuxedos, this is the true story of The Residents.

Y/Our Music (Waraluck Hiransrettawat Every, David Reeve, Thailand/UK, 81min).  CHICAGO PREMIERE
Where does the Thai musical identity lie? In the traditional songs of work and faith from the sprawling rural region of Isan? In the experimental art-rock honed in Bangkok basements and galleries? In the bamboo saxophones laboriously handmade by a jazz-loving optician? Yes, yes, yes, and more. Y/Our Music takes a sonic journey through Thailand from rice fields to urban markets, spanning generations and geography to reveal a diverse and, at times, divided musical culture, and reveling in the artistry of singers and players working to preserve and update the old ways.


Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai (Christopher Kirkley, USA/Niger)  CHICAGO PREMIERE
Prince goes Sahel in this colorful Saharan homage to Purple Rain featuring the smoking Nigerien guitarist Mdou Moctar as the new axe-slinger in a guitar-mad Tuareg town. Resplendent in a purple robe and matching motorcycle, Mdou woos an enigmatic local beauty, fights with his conservative, music-hating dad and fences with a jealous local star until the night of the big guitar contest.

As Old as My Tongue: The Myth and Life of Bi Kidude (Andy Jones, UK/Tanzania, 66 min).
A portrait of singer Bi Kidude, a living legend on her home island of Zanzibar. She has beguiled audiences around the world on her wide and varied travels.

I Shot Bi Kidude  (Andy Jones, UK/Tanzania)                       SNEAK PREVIEW
A special preview of work in progress, I Shot Bi Kidude is a dramatic investigation into the final days of the life of Bi Kidude, one of Africa’s greatest musical heroines and the world’s oldest singer. In 2013, this fast-talking, chain-smoking rebel-rocker was kidnapped. Following up on As Old As My Tongue, his earlier film on the myth and life of Kidude, director Andy Jones and his team return to Zanzibar in order to get to the bottom of the mystery. Just two months later, Bi Kidude was dead. I Shot Bi Kidude is the final chapter in the life of a legend.

Shield and Spear (Petter Ringbom, US/S. Africa, 89 min).  CHICAGO PREMIERE
An artist paints a caricature of South African president Jacob Zuma that provokes a lawsuit, death threats and a massive street protest. Around this incident, Shield and Spear explores a constellation of stories about identity, art, race and freedom of expression in South Africa, 20 years into democracy.

Sierre Leone’s Refugee All Stars (Zach Niles, Banker White, USA/Guinea, 78min).
The story of a group of courageous musicians who form a band in a West African refugee camp to keep their hope alive. Following the movie, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars perform live at Martyrs’

They Will Have to Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile (Johanna Schwartz, UK, 105min).  CHICAGO PREMIERE
Islamic extremists have banned music in Mali, but its world-famous musicians won’t give up without a fight. A documentary about music in the West African country follows Mali’s musical superstars as they fight for their right to sing.


Absolute Beginners
A musical adaptation of Colin MacInnes' novel about life in late 1950s London. Nineteen-year-old photographer Colin (Eddie O'Connell) is hopelessly in love with model Crepe Suzette (Patsy Kensit), but her relationships are strictly connected with her progress in the fashion world. So Colin gets involved with a pop promoter and tries to crack the big time. With David Bowie.

The Filth and the Fury
Temple’s first film in his trilogy on British music of the 1970's documents the career of the notorious punk rock band, the Sex Pistols.

Oil City Confidential
Temple's last film in his trilogy on British music of the 1970's focuses on Canvey Island band Dr Feelgood (“Roxette”) featuring guitarist Wilko Johnson. It is a prequel to Temple’s landmark films about punk figureheads the Sex Pistols in The Filth & The Fury and Joe Strummer in The Future Is Unwritten.

Dave Davies: Kinkdom Come
Kinks guitarist Dave Davies relives his tumultuous life and times amidst the serenity of his Exmoor sanctuary in Temple’s doc made for the BBC.

Ray Davies: Imaginary Man
Temple beautifully captures Ray Davies’ wistfulness in his excellent documentary on the former-Kink. Davies is allowed to gently meander around his past life, talking about his childhood, his family of seven sisters and one brother, his early days with The Kinks, the development of his writing skill and his life of fame, parenthood and growing-up, all of which seemed to happen so fast.

Rio 50 Degrees: Carry on CaRIOca!
A look at Rio's cultural, political and technical revolutions since the 1970s to 2011.


Sam Lay Send-off Show

CIMMfest 2015 kicks off with a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame send-off party for blues’ most celebrated drummer. Sam Lay was on drums when Bob Dylan went electric at Newport. He was in the studio and on the road with blues greats Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, Little Walter and James Cotton. He was a founding member of the groundbreaking Paul Butterfield Blues Band. He is, at 79, still an active part of the Chicago Blues scene and the man some call “the greatest drummer of all time.” And on April 18, he’ll be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. The CIMMfest 2015 kickoff event hosted by Grammy-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker John Anderson includes tales and live performances with Sam Lay and Corky Siegel, clips from Anderson’s new movie Sam Lay in Bluestown and a full set with Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials, Saturday, April 11, 9pm at Rosa’s


Fort Knox Studios Showcase @ Martyrs
A variety of bands that practice at Fort Knox Studios, the music rehearsal and recording studio facility located on the north side of Chicago at Wilson & Montrose, showcase their music. Featured bands include:
Phosphene, hard rock/ pop metal
AudioBakery, progressive rock
Halfmoon Mad, alternative rock/pop

CIMMfest Pre: Emanation – A Percussion Event @ 1st ward
Featuring percussionists: Thomas Benko, Chris Hainey, Colin Campbell and Nora Bratton.

The Right Now @ Double Door
This R&B, soul band shines with raw, gritty performances and elegant arrangements that are the result of countless hours of performing, rehearsing and traveling together.

Yakuza and Rabble Rabble @ Burlington
Yakuza, avant-garde metal band acclaimed for its incorporation of jazz and world music elements, performs with psych punks Rabble Rabble

Miss Alex White showcase @ Township
Miss Alex White presents:
Digital Leather, musical project led by multi-instrumentalist Shawn Foree
Mac Blackout, champion of the local scene who runs the gamut from hardcore punk to synthy glam rock
The Holy Motors, rock 'n 'roll trio


808 DJ event @ 1st Ward
Hank Shocklee, sonic architect and founder of Public Enemy’s Bomb Squad
Liviu Pasare, technical director at Luftwerk and owner of Chicago-based practice creating visual experiences using new media and technology

House showcase @ Metro
DJ Sneak, Puerto Rico-born house music DJ
Mark Farina, disc jockey and musician -- Chicago house, acid jazz and downtempo works
Derrick Carter, house producer and DJ

The Shotwell Showcase @ Double Door
Bailiff, blues-rock
Sidewalk Chalk, contemporary hip-hop, soul and jazz
My Gold Mask, indie rock
Jamaican Queens, electronic pop
Smoker, dream-pop, alternative

Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars @ Martyrs
Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have risen like a phoenix out of the ashes of war and enflamed the passions of fans across the globe with their uplifting songs of hope, faith and joy. The band is a potent example of the redeeming power of music and the ability of the human spirit to persevere through unimaginable hardship and emerge with optimism intact. From their humble beginnings in West African refugee camps Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have performed on some of the world’s most prestigious stages and matured into one of Africa’s top touring and recording bands.

The Claudettes and The Cell Phones @ Emporium
The White Stripes and Black Keys rock the blues with a guitar attack. Like the Bad Plus, The Claudettes brandish a piano instead. Inspired by the ’60s piano-drums blues recordings of Otis Spann & S.P. Leary, band members Johnny and Michael formed their duo and created their own fanatical fusion of blues and soul-jazz. Following the The Claudettes is local trio, The Cell Phones, with their peculiar style of grind-core and power-pop elements marked by heavy acoustic bass and drums, with explosive vocals of front woman Lindsay Charles.


Lisa Fischer @ Thalia Hall
Singer and composer Lisa Fischer – The Rolling Stones’ powerhouse backup vocalist since 1989 – headlines her own show with a full band for two shows. Featured in the 2013 movie Twenty Feet from Stardom, Fischer is renowned for her astonishing range. She has toured, recorded and made music with acts as diverse as Luther Vandross, Tina Turner and Nine Inch Nails. In 1992, Fischer won a solo Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Performance for her hit single "How Can I Ease the Pain" in an unlikely tie with Patti LaBelle (on whose song, “Burnin’,” she also sang backup). For this solo tour, Fischer has put together a brand new band to explore some new territory. The YouTube version of her duet with Mick Jagger on “Gimme Shelter” has millions of hits. showcase @ Martyrs
Elle Casazza, fearless, sultry and powerful vocal soloist
Scotch Hollow, acoustic roots
Fletcher, alt-rock
The Damn Choir, six-piece indie rock
Matthew Santos, rock and folk singer-songwriter

Chicago Mixtape @ Hideout
Santah, indie rock
Pet Lions, infectious indie pop
Weatherman, experimental pop

The Gomers @ Emporium
The Gomers wrap up National Record Story Day with a “Gomeroke" love rock and roll karaoke celebration, where attendees can choose from 3000 songs to rock out to. The Gomers have been rocking since 1985 when they recorded their first album Comin' Atchya at Smart Studio.

Hank Green @ Metro
Pop rock musician Hank Green (and brother of author John Green) performs with Driftless Pony Club, Harry and the Potters, Rob Scallon and Andrew Huang.


Todd Snider @ City Winery
On the 20th anniversary of his first album, Songs for the Daily Planet, Alt-Country singer-songwriter Todd Snider plays City Winery in conjunction with CIMMfest’s showing of The First Waltz, the rockumentary about the formation of his rock ’n’ roll supergroup Hard Working Americans (Snider, Neal Casal, Chad Staehly, Duane Trucks and Widespread Panic’s Dave Schools). 

Local H @ Metro
The pioneering, two-man band – frontman Scott Lucas on guitar and bass and drummer Ryan Harding – has released seven studio albums, a live album and a bunch of EPs. Local H debuts its brand new CD Hey, Killer, their first album in three years.

Where Movies and Music Meet
CIMMfest, the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival, is a four-day showcase of outstanding films, energetic concerts, visually stunning VJ/DJ sets, lively Q&A’s, daring live score performances, industry panels and presentations…anything to show just what movies and music mean to each other.

Each spring filmmakers, musicians and their passionate fans alike, descend upon Wicker Park and Logan Square, two of Chicago’s most eclectic, vibrant neighborhoods. That’s where CIMMfest takes place—the films by day, the live music by night—at theaters, galleries, bars, concert spaces and some of the city’s most storied venues.

The films come from all countries and cultures, and range from documentaries to fiction to concert films to shorts to music videos. They just have to be about music and/or use music in a creative, integral way. The live performances are inspired by film or feature visual accompaniment.

In 2014, CIMMfest expanded its music section to include more than 90 bands, 27 venues and a footprint along Milwaukee Avenue that stretches nearly two miles. CIMMcon made its debut in 2013, and in 2014 brought together more than 100 innovators, tastemakers, industry leaders and more in a series of 30+ free panels exploring everything from State of the Recording Industry to how to Kickstart your Film.

CIMMfest was imagined and brought to life by musician Josh Chicoine (Sabers, The M’s) and filmmaker Ilko Davidov (BulletProof Film). Neither knew what he was getting into at the start, but hundreds of films, thousands of attendees and countless incredible experiences later, CIMMfest is a publicized, respected Chicago fixture.

The mission of the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival (CIMMfest) is to highlight the inseparability of film and music through the production of an annual four-day, multi-venue festival.  CIMMfest is a convergence event that highlights the interconnectedness of all people shown through the lens of music and movies, on stage and on screen.  All participating films have music at their center: short and long form documentaries and narrative fiction; concert films; animation; music videos; performances; live concert events; art exhibits; and panel discussions, presented at both new and historic venues around Chicago.  CIMMfest is a platform for filmmakers and musicians, artists and producers, to present their vision and offer a connection point for people to come together for a celebration of movies, music, and good times in the greatest city on earth – Chicago!  For more information, visit  

Corporate sponsors of CIMMfest No. 7 include Lagunitas Brewing Co, Jameson Irish Whiskey, Mailchimp and Softlayer- An IBM Company.


The region’s largest free conference for artists, creative professionals and entrepreneurs is presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE). Building on the success of three popular past events – the Creative Chicago Expo, the Chicago Music Summit and the Chicago Film and Media Summit – the four-day Summit + Expo will welcome thousands of artists and professionals engaged in creative industry businesses and organizations for keynotes by industry leaders, professional development panels and workshops, networking opportunities, music and film showcases, the Expo resource fair and a marketplace open to local artisans.

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