2017 Sundance Docs in Focus: UNTITLED BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB DOCUMENTARY

untitled lucy walker buena vistaUNTITLED BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB DOCUMENTARY
Lucy Walker revisits the Grammy Award-winning musicians that revived global interest in Cuban music.

Festival Section:
Documentary Premieres

Sundance Program Description:

In 1996, Cuban bandleader Juan de Marcos Gonzalez, British producer Nick Gold, and American guitarist Ry Cooder convened in Havana to produce a Cuban-Malian collaboration. When the Malians couldn’t get visas, the team turned their attention to reviving a forgotten generation of legendary son cubano musicians – among them Ibrahim Ferrer, Ruben Gonzalez, Omara Portuondo, Eliades Ochoa, and Compay Segundo – and they formed a serendipitous, on-the-fly ensemble: the Buena Vista Social Club. The group’s hypnotic, irresistible music and effusive spirit unexpectedly took the world by storm, resulting in a Grammy Award-winning album and an Academy Award–nominated documentary by Wim Wenders.

Two decades since that fateful first session, we catch up to these master musicians, as they reflect on the magical unfolding of their lives – from humble origins to the evolution and surprising revival of their careers, all against the backdrop of Cuba’s dramatic history. Brimming with unseen concert, rehearsal, and archival footage, this film is an emotional, shimmering celebration of music’s power to transcend age, ideologies, and class, and to connect us to each other through our souls.

Some Background:
Director/Executive Producer:

  • Lucy Walker
    Past Sundance docs:

    A HISTORY OF CUBAN DANCE (short) (2016)
    THE LION’S MOUTH OPENS (short) (2014)
    THE CRASH REEL (2013)
    THE TSUNAMI AND THE CHERRY BLOSSOM (short) (2012)
    WASTE LAND (2010, Documentary Audience Award winner)
    COUNTDOWN TO ZERO (2010)
    DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND (2002)

    Walker has been nominated for Academy Awards twice (TSUNAMI and WASTE LAND) and is an Emmy winner.

Producers:

  • Christine Cowin
    This is the Blink TV content head’s first Sundance credit.

  • Zak Kilberg
    Kilberg is the founder and creative director of Convergent Media. He previously produced the Sundance narrative short L TRAIN (2012), but this marks his first doc at the festival.

  • Victor Moyers
    Past Sundance docs:

    A HISTORY OF CUBAN DANCE (executive producer)

    The Broad Green Pictures president of physical production also produced Sundance narrative alums GREEN ROOM (2015) and SKATELAND (2010), and line produced alum AFTERNOON DELIGHT (2013).

  • Julian Cautherley
    Past Sundance docs:

    A HISTORY OF CUBAN DANCE
    THE LION’S MOUTH OPENS
    THE CRASH REEL

    Cautherley is an Emmy Award winner who also directed the Sundance short fiction alum BLUE HAVEN (2002).

  • Asher Goldstein
    This is the Broad Green SVP of development and production’s first Sundance nonfiction credit. He was an associate producer of festival fiction alum I AM NOT A HIPSTER (2012).

Executive Producers:

  • Gabriel Hammond and Daniel Hammond
    Past Sundance docs:

    A HISTORY OF CUBAN DANCE

    The Hammonds are CEO and CCO of Broad Green. They also executive produced GREEN ROOM.

  • Andrew Baker
    This is the media advisor’s first Sundance credit.

  • Bill Lord
    This also marks the Blink TV CEO’s first project at Sundance.

  • Jason Lust
    Lust previously produced BLUE HAVEN and executive produced WEAPONS (2007).

  • Russell Smith
    Smith is a veteran entertainment attorney and the founder and CEO of Convergent Media. He has provided counsel for several past Sundance films.

Editors:

  • Tyler Temple Higgins
    Higgins previously cut Walker’s doc short DAVID HOCKNEY IN THE NOW: IN SIX MINUTES, and was an apprentice editor for the Sundance narrative feature WHAT JUST HAPPENED? (2008).

  • Pablo Proenza
    This is Proenza’s first Sundance credit. He previously cut Michael Moore’s WHERE TO INVADE NEXT and CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY.

Why You Should Watch:
Returning these veteran musicians to the spotlight, Walker easily captures their vibrant personalities together with their infectious music as she shows how their lives have changed from their unexpected worldwide fame.

More Info:
Filmmaker Website
Filmmaker Facebook
Filmmaker Instagram

For Sundance screening dates and times, click the film title in the first paragraph.

To experience the festival through the eyes of this year’s filmmakers, follow my Sundance 2017 Twitter list.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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