Feature

Sound On Screen Music Film Festival kicks off with stacked line-up

The exciting audio visual feast that is the SOUND ON SCREEN MUSIC FILM FESTIVAL returns for its 14th year.  

The eclectic range of dozens new and never-before-seen international music related movies, documentaries and short films will stream across South Africa via Quicket.co.za, 29 March – 7 April.

From pop, hip-hop, jazz, blues, tango, Balkan and country, to rock, metal, punk, electronic, as well as world music links like traditional instrument focus of the Chinese Guqin and Cuban percussion; documentary looks at artists like SIGUR RÓS and Kurt Cobain-linked band EARTH; narrative films like a musical comedy-drama and local music-linked drama, plus dance subjects and much more.

These global movies and short films hail from across the planet, including the USA, Canada, UK, Argentina, South Africa, China, Belgium, Korea, Iceland, Madagascar, Russia, Turkey, Ireland, Cuba, Sweden, Luxembourg, Italy.

Festival website: http://www.flamedrop.com/sos

Book & Stream at: https://qkt.io/PwDGiV  

Festival Movie Selection Clip

Check out the full festival lie-up below.

EVEN HELL HAS ITS HEROES (USA)

Since 1989, the slowest metal band on the planet has conjured some of music’s most striking tectonic changes. Not only did the band Earth create a glacially paced sub-genre of metal and play a pivotal role in the popularization of grunge, but visionary leader Dylan Carlson also did it while battling small-town boredom, heroin addiction, and the tragic death of his roommate and best friend, Kurt Cobain.

Directed by Clyde Petersen

NOT A ROCK-DOC (UK)  

A chaotic late-life adventure for two aging Rock Stars.

This fast moving and dynamic film explores an iconic band’s journey from the highs of their resurgence to the utter depths of their struggle to survive in the digital age
Back in 1972, the band Sharks quickly soared to new heights in the rock world, a record deal from the coolest label, superstar management, and a shark-shaped car. But a devastating crash and drug problems saw them sink beneath the waves. Now, they reunite, embarking on a 21st-century odyssey filled with pain, dark humor, and unexpected acts of heroism.

Directed by Stephen Parsons, Anke Trojan

“This film is a must-see for all music lovers” – IAN McSHANE, Actor 

‘’NOT A ROCK-DOC is better than WOODSTOCK and stranger than SPINAL TAP” – CHRIS SALEWICZ, Author

“Really honest – and poignant” – PAUL COOK of THE SEX PISTOLS

TEXAS MUSIC REVOLUTION (USA)

This vibrant documentary follows Joshua Jones, general manager of Dallas-based indie Americana radio station KHYI-FM, as he struggles to produce the silver anniversary of a beloved roots music festival in the wake of the pandemic.

Against a backdrop of stories and performances by Texas music artists Ray Wylie Hubbard, Charley Crockett, Joshua Ray Walker, The Derailers, and Kiefer Sutherland, Joshua’s heroic journey mirrors the themes that express the genre of Texas Country Music itself: Dedication, heartbreak, faith, and redemption … With a healthy bit of humor.

In a welcome return from dark times, Texas Music Revolution is a celebration of Texas, its people, and their music.

Directed by Troy Paff

BronX BandA: Arturo O’Farrill & The Bronx (USA)

6-time Grammy Award-winning jazz pianist Arturo O’Farrill brings to life a 9-piece hip-hop-jazz ensemble converting stories of South Bronx life to music resounding in the streets. This music documentary pays homage to the history of the Afro-Latinx music that was born in the Bronx.

Directed by Taylor Krauss

THE HIDDEN SOUND OF TANGO (Argentia)

After obtaining an old Boca de Estrella guitar like the one played by tango icon Carlos Gardel, tango musician/guitar collector Patricio Crom sets out to restore the instrument and discover its true sound—and then use it in a concert featuring some of today’s best Argentine tango guitarists. Along the way, Crom explores the different techniques of guitar playing, the challenges of guitar building and restoration, and the enduring passion for Carlos Gardel.

Directed by Yael Szmulewics

LEILANI’S FORTUNE (Canada) 

Leilani’s Fortune is an intimate journey that follows the blossoming career of queer, Ethiopian-Eritrean artist, Witch Prophet.

After a decade of struggling as an independent artist, she is finally getting the validation and support she needs to create the album of her prophecies.

Canada boasts some of the biggest names in music including Celine Dion, Justin Bieber, Michael Bublé, and Drake. With her hypnotic harmonies and genre bending sound, she is poised to shape the next era of global Canadian artists.

Directed by Loveleen Kaur

OLD RIGHTEOUS BLUES (South Africa) 

A young man is forced to confront his limitations, face the ghosts of the past and rise above establishment constraints to unite a fractured community and realise his life-long dream of leading his town’s Christmas Choir Band (Kerskoor) to its former glory.

However, he is to pay the price for the path his father chose twenty years ago, which split the fabulous Old Righteous Blues Kerskoor in two and fractured the community. For the next twenty years, pitched street battles raged, loyalties were tested, families were divided, and the two rival bands marched defiantly under their own banner, each claiming ownership of the town’s Kerskoor, with devastating and violent consequences for the community.

Directed by Muneera Sallies

Starring Ayden Croy, Euodia Samson, Stefan Erasmus 

THE BYTES DREAMS ARE MADE OF (Italy)

In this hard-hitting audio-visual trip, the dream world of the digital machine manifests itself on the computer screen as a stream of images and sounds that spreads over the network. A streaming of digital consciousness morphing into an artistic installation, all with a driving electronic soundtrack.

Directed by Alessandro Amaducci

MOTHER OF ALL SHOWS (Canada)

Starring  Wendie Malick (Bojack Horseman, Dream On, Frasier, Just Shoot Me), Darryl Hinds (Overlord and the Underwoods, Six Days to Die), Ann Pornel (Baroness Von Sketch, Great Canadian Baking Show)

In order for Liza to cope with the impending death of her estranged mother, she retreats to a ’70s variety show in her mind where the all-powerful host is her own mother, Rosa, who leads a cast of people from Liza’s past and present, all a jumble in her mind. Scene by scene, song by song, Liza works through another part of their past in an attempt to see her mother in real life without losing herself in the process.

Directed by Melissa D’Agostino

LEGENDS OF WOOD AND SILK (China) 

Having existed for over two thousand years, the Guqin is one of China’s most original string instruments. In the year 2019, the 82-year-old Guqin master, Wong Duo, reluctantly performed in his hometown of Suzhou, where his lifelong dedication to the revival of traditional silk string style has made him a minority among the predominant steel string players. To support him, Li Guo, Wong’s youngest disciple whose playing strongly echoes that of her master’s, invited Wong to give a truly authentic Guqin concert in the modern cosmopolitan of Shenzhen, in order to reach a larger and more diverse audience.

Directed by Qiyuan Lu

MADAGASCAR MUSIC (Republic of Korea)

Shin Mi-sik is a Korean documentary photographer who loves Madagascar, buiing four libraries for children in Africa. In order to protect children’s innocence and artistry, this time he want to convey music to children. With 50 ukuleles supported by a Korean cultural foundation, he leaves for Madagascar with composer Taehwa Jang and 14 volunteers. Although they are poor, they live with a positive outlook on life.

The children, who find everything amazing, are absorbed in ukulele lessons and choir practice despite the hot weather.

The beautiful performances and singing of a 50-member ukulele troupe and a 100-member choir resonate movingly at Trinity School, the beach, and Baobab Street in Morondava, Madagascar.

Through the process of preparing for a ukulele performance with Madagascar children, we encounter the simple truth that the most beautiful gift to us is ‘music.’

Directed by Chosin Zeong

SHORT FILM COLLECTION 2024

The short film collection includes:

SIGUR RÓS (USA / Iceland) 

Directed by Ekaterina Gimro

Short-form documentary of people’s emotions listening to the new Sigur Rós album, which will be released in June 2023. 50 people share their first reaction with the camera and tell us about how Sigur Rós has impacted their lives

A HARD ROW TO HOE – a Documentary on Brother Dege (USA) 

Dege Legg, aka Brother Dege is ‘Louisianas best kept secret’. The writer, musician and working man has been living the dream of freedom, traveling the southlands for decades. His music has made it on international television and his hit “Too Old to Die Young” was handpicked by Quentin Tarantino for the “Django Unchained” soundtrack. Still, the commercial success never fully happened. To this day he’s running his own label, booking his band’s tours around the globe and takes on day-jobs whenever the bank is low. Will he be able to make his unique and deep version of delta blues for the world and keep touring with his band, or will he have to cope for a more normal life to make his ends meet for himself and his family?

Directed by Lucas Fiederling 

THE LAST TRAIN (South Africa)

A musician who had come from an uninspiring performance in an empty pub found himself late one evening on the last train to get to his home. His hopes of a peaceful late train ride after a long day are suddenly threatened by a passenger who asks him to play his guitar so he can accompany him with his mbira for an impromptu duet. 

Director Lodi Paul Inga based this short film on an actual experience.

GUANCHO AND THE BONGOSERO MENTIROSO (Cuba)

This project is first and foremost a peek into the lives, traditions and culture of Guancho and Alberto (el Bongosero Mentiroso), two renown percussionists from Guines, a small town in Cuba.

Directed by Thibeaux Hirsh

TERMINATRYX – BELA LUGOSI’S DEAD (South Africa)

South African female-fronted band TERMINATRYX created this video for their cover version of the classic 1980s BAUHAUS Gothic song, Bela Lugosi’s Dead.

Directed by Paul Blom

SO MISUNDERSTOOD (USA) 

As the only woman and Black employee in her small San Francisco, California tech startup office, Alice Scott feels the constant pressure to hold it all together in front of her coworkers. But her life is transformed with the onset of the pandemic.

Titled after a song inspired by the day-to-day effects of implicit bias, So Misunderstood is a genre-bending short film weaving together spoken word, music, dance, and visuals into a story that highlights the challenge of authenticity and inclusion in an ingrained workplace culture.

Directed by Seretse Njemanze, Jehnovah Carlisle

BOOGIEHEADS (South Africa)

An audio-visual trip Fried Barry and Street Trash director Ryan Kruger.

(features nudity)

TEENAGE HARMONIC (RED RUMBLE) (USA)

States of grace, color in motion, a lulling repetition rocking and lunging in a feedback serenade, Teenage Harmonic features documentary footage of audiences at punk rock shows. Referenced though not used in the video is Link Wray’s 1958 rock and roll masterpiece, Rumble, the only instrumental ever to be banned on radio, misconstrued as an incitement to violence; in Teenage Harmonic, apparent aggression, like the noise distortion, once dissonant then softened and harmonic with a boys choir, is slowed to reveal a serene mayhem of bodies ricocheting, a ballet of chaos cushioned in comradeship and ecstatic free-fall, energy moving in gravity, sound and beauty.

Directed by Hilda Daniel

MARCIA MOON – DIE HEKS VAN HEXRIVIER VALLEI (South Africa)

Music video for Marcia Moon’s haunting Afrikaans song Die Heks Van Hexrivier Vallei. 

RIB (Ireland)

In RIB, we see the reclaiming of the nude female form, where it is revered, nurtured, valued and raised to its beautiful vulnerability with gratitude for the soul and life form it has carried through this earthly journey.

In psychotherapy terms, this woman is embodying Erik Erikson’s Stage 8 “Integrity vs Despair” where, through movement and connection with another actress, her gratitude for a rich and varied life experience is displayed.

The viewer will be taken on an emotional journey of empathy and love as the screen opens up to beauty in the aged skin, in falling into the soul within older eyes.

(features nudity throughout)

Directed by Anne Marie Kelly

CATS: WHY DO WE NEED THEM? (Russia)

An innovative dance piece centered around a bankrupt businessman trying to commit suicide while a cat appears on his way.

Directed by Liudmila Komrakova

MOVE ON SAY THE TOWN WALLS (India) 

A man who finds city life stressed out heads out to the village to begin a new life and is very happy about it. Music video.

Directed by Prashanth Shetty

AMMU’S TREASURES (USA)

Continuing a prolific 2023, GRAMMY® Award-nominated global artist, humanitarian, and entrepreneur Chandrika Tandon just released her fifth full-length album, Ammu’s Treasures. This animated music video is from this work. 

Directed by Chandrika Tandon 

DOUBLE BILLS: 

BELGIAN DOUBLE BILL: 

AS WE WALK + VISION GLITCH

AS WE WALK (Belgium)

In March 2021, together with Brooklyn-based drummer Raf Vertessen and Belgian pianist Andreas Bral, Hanne De Backer walked the whole Belgian coastline in the company of a camel and a camera crew. The goal was to register this coastline by recording the musical impressions of the trio alongside the road. Everyday improvised sets were played and recorded on different locations in- and outdoors, starting at the French border and ending five days later at the border with the Netherlands.

The result is a 45-minutes music documentary; an ode to imagination and persistence, a plea for slowing down and truly encountering one another.

Directed by Hanne De Backer

 + 

VISION GLITCH (Belgium)

Echo Beatty’s Annelies Van Dinter and photographer Anton Coene likely crossed paths during one of their musical adventures years ago, perhaps even at a gas station. Through sharing vans and hotel rooms, they connected on both personal and professional levels, building a friendship that has withstood the highs and lows of their lives. They’re no strangers.

When confusion hit the world and eventually subsided, they found themselves feeling a certain void within themselves. They weren’t disconnected from each other, but rather, they were disconnected from what they had come to know about themselves. The world’s engine had started running again, but they weren’t quite inside the vehicle. They weren’t lost, per se, but they had somehow become misplaced and were wondering about their essence once again.

It was then that Annelies started working on her third Echo Beatty album, and Anton, who had become a new dad, figured out how babies work and how to live a life next to that. They decided to embark on a journey to search for their essence with a van and not much of a plan. During one of the hottest weeks in recent years, they got into the car and started driving east. Because in the east is where the sun rises and east is what sounded best.

“Vision Glitch” is the result of that search. Packed with instruments and cameras, they simply started rolling and, for once, didn’t wonder what the heck they were doing or why they were doing it.

Directed by Anton Coene

DOUBLE BILL: 

NOCTURNO + IN THE BASEMENT OF APOLLO HALL

NOCTURNO (Luxembourg) 

After a serious fall, a retired pianist finds herself lost, depressed and doesn’t know if one day she will be able to walk or play again. Her composer friend, Rudi,offers her his new composition “Spring Equinox” inspired by Carmen, her life and her music. Despite her difficulties, Carmen regains hope, and motivation. Rudi offers to arrange a benefit concert for her as well as a photo shoot by Eric, a passionate photographer who dedicates himself body and soul to photography despite his fatal illness. The artistic and human connection between Eric, Carmen and Rudi is immediate and they talk about the pass, their disease, their fears and insecurities. Carmen gradually recovers the joy and hope that she had lost.

Directed by Isabel Rivero Vila

 + 

IN THE BASEMENT OF APOLLO HALL (Sweden)

A furry TV host, an opera diva, and a music expert come together to answer the simple yet impossible question: the origin of music.

Directed by Hans Appelqvist 

STILL TO BE CONFIRMED :

GOD SAID GIVE ‘EM DRUM MACHINES (USA)

Detroit is a city of struggle.

Historically, economically, and artistically, Detroit has had to fight for survival. And it’s had to fight even harder for recognition. The spirit of that fight is epitomized by GOD SAID GIVE ‘EM DRUM MACHINES, a documentary which traces the birth of techno music to its unlikely origins in the D. 

Detroit’s African-American cultural roots cultivated musical movements like jazz, Motown, and disco. By the late ‘70s, DJs like Ken Collier were infusing underground clubs and public airwaves with radically danceable sounds, and in the early ‘80s groundbreaking technology like the infamous Roland TR-808 was falling into the hands of a new generation. The merging of these artistic and technological forces would bring about one of the most significant musical breakthroughs of the modern era.

GOD SAID GIVE ‘EM DRUM MACHINES tells the tale of the young visionaries who made that breakthrough happen. Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Blake Baxter, Eddie Fowlkes, and Santonio Echols were the vanguard of a new musical style they dubbed “techno,” which would soon become the most celebrated and profitable genre in the world.

Directed by Kristian R. Hill 

BALKANCISCO (USA / Turkey)

When a young Turkish immigrant arrives in San Francisco, she finds herself inside an ever growing Balkan music scene and sets on a quest to explore how the Bay Area has become such a hotbed for Balkan music, how it influenced the local music scene and how music travels across borders.

Directed by Tugrul Sarikaya