2018 Sundance Docs in Focus: BAD REPUTATION

Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Kevin Kerslake

Kevin Kerslake profiles the influential musician known as the queen of rock ‘n’ roll.

Festival Section:
Documentary Premieres

Sundance Program Description:

Joan Jett is so much more than “I Love Rock ’n’ Roll.” It’s true, she became mega-famous from the number-one hit, and that fame intensified with the music video’s endless play on MTV. But that staple of popularity can’t properly define a musician. Jett put her hard work in long before the fame, ripping it up onstage as the backbone of the hard-rock legends The Runaways, influencing many musicians – both her cohort of punk rockers and generations of younger bands – with her no-bullshit style.

BAD REPUTATION gives you a wild ride as Jett and her close friends tell you how it really was in the burgeoning ’70s punk scene, and their interviews are laced with amazing archival footage. The theme is clear: even though people tried to define Jett and keep her stuck to one hit, she never compromised. She will kick your ass, and you’ll love her all the more for it.

Some Background:

  • Kevin Kerslake

    Kerslake has an extensive background directing music videos and documentaries about musicians, including, most recently, the Tribeca-debuting AS I AM: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DJ AM. This marks his first Sundance project.


  • Peter Afterman
    Past Sundance docs:

    IT MIGHT GET LOUD (2009)

    Inaudible Productions’ Afterman is a Grammy-winning music supervisor and consultant who has served in this roles for previous Sundance narratives and documentaries.

  • Carianne Brinkman

    This is the first Sundance credit for Brinkman, the longtime SVP of Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records.


  • Alessandra Pasquino

    This is also the first Sundance project for Pasquino.

  • Margaret Yen

    Inaudible Productions’ Yen has served as a music supervisor or consultant to previous Sundance fiction and nonfiction projects, but this marks her first producing credit at the festival.

Executive Producers:

  • Dan Braun

    Braun is a co-founder/co-president of Submarine Entertainment. He is also an executive producer for 2018 Sundance US Doc Competition title KUSAMA – INFINITY and Special Events series WILD WILD COUNTY. While these are his first Sundance producing credits, he has been involved with countless film sales at the festival in the past.

  • Justus Haerder

    Haerder is SVP of group strategy at BMG and has led the company’s development of film and television projects for the past several years. This is his first producing credit.

  • Kathy Rivkin-Daum

    Rivkin-Daum is director of audiovisual operations at BMG. She has a background in producing music videos and documentaries, but this is her first project at Sundance.


  • Joel Marcus

    Marcus previously worked with Kerslake as producer/editor of AS I AM. This, too, is his first Sundance credit.

Assistant Editor:

  • Avo John Kambourian

    Kambourian served as a post assistant on Sundance doc alum COUNTDOWN TO ZERO (2010).

Why You Should Watch:
Kerslake gives the pioneering Jett her due, covering the scope of her music career through extensive archival material and frank interviews with the appealing, bad ass performer and her inner circle.

More Info:

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

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

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