New York, US - 10 March, 2008 - IndiePixfilms, the internet-based distributor of independent films, has announced the release of Gonzo Music Diaries, NYC, a unique and powerful documentary that explores the historical relationship between the city, political activism and music. The film presents a 'time capsule' of the music and politics that shaped New York City in the summer of 2004 when millions took to the streets to protest the Republican National Convention in the City. Coinciding with the run up to the 2008 US presidential election, Gonzo Music Diaries, NYC, is now available for the first time to audiences around the world through download or DVD.
At the heart of Gonzo Music Diaries, NYC lies a grassroots, independent vision. The film looks at how New York's music scene was falling victim to large corporate entities that were making the city unaffordable. Hilly Kristal, founder of legendary rock club CBGB's, and Punk Magazine founder John Holmstrom, a veteran of the CB’s scene, reminisce about the old New York Music scene before fast forwarding to the franchising of New York and its increasing corporatisation - both talk openly about the bleak future of independent music clubs who find it financially impossible to stay true to their roots. This was one of the last interviews Hilly Kristal gave before the closure of CBGB's in October 2006 and his death less than a year later.
"Our film grew organically out of a simple idea: it started out as a documentary about subway musicians and escalated into an emotionally charged film about the music scene in New York," explained Roy Szuper, Director of Gonzo Music Diaries, NYC. "We didn't have a production plan or a vision of what the finished film was going to be, but we wanted the production to be completely independent - we had to beg, borrow and steal to complete this project on our own - and the electric atmosphere in the run up to and during the Convention shaped the whole film.
"Because of our guerrilla-filmmaking style and acts of anti-Bush Activism we were pretty lucky to get through the filmmaking process without being arrested. However, our getaway car was stopped by Federal police at the New York Supreme Court building and they seized some fantastic opening scenes footage - a lot of unique footage will never be seen."
The film documents an emotionally charged time in New York's history: as the City prepares for the incoming Republican National Convention, music fanatic Concert Joe, punk Tony Petrozza and the film's director Roy Szuper, set out to create the First Annual Williamsburg Music Festival as a statement of protest. What follows is one of the biggest political protests in American history as New Yorkers, rock legends, cult figures and activists join forces to voice their anti-Bush feelings. Along with its unique sound-mix from top independent musicians, the film includes interviews and performances by Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine, TV/Radio host Joe Franklin, Dana Fuchs - who has since co-starred in the Golden Globe nominated film, Across the Universe - plus Vernon Reid, Vinnie Stigma, and Michael Franti of SpearHead.
"Native New Yorkers are so proud that their city is a liberal, independent city and having the Republican National Convention there was literally a slap in the face for the people of New York. And now, everyone who took part in the festival and the film can look back and say they were involved in making a piece of history - a statement about what the independent New York music scene believed in," concluded Roy Szuper.
Eric Danville, writing in Punk Magazine, describes how Gonzo Music Diaries, NYC, takes "a heartfelt look at the dedication, perseverance and (no pun intended) concerted effort it takes for a small group of driven, like-minded people to confront the powers that be - not on their turf, but on your own - while also examining the motivation it takes for someone to try it in the first place."
Gonzo Music Diaries, NYC, has received excellent support from screenings around the world including last year's Cannes Film Festival, the Amsterdam International Film Festival, the National Producer's alliance in London, and a screening at CBGB's weeks before it closed.
The film is available from the IndiePix website www.indiepixfilms.com priced from $19.95. Readers can click here to see a trailer of this film.
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IndiePix is the world's leading distributor of critically acclaimed and hard-to-find independent films. The company was set up in 2005 by Bob Alexander and Barnet Liberman to break down barriers between filmmakers and audiences in the global film community through the creation of a world leading shop and online service dedicated to making independent films available to the film community. It is committed to supporting the independent film industry and encouraging the production of more movies - giving 60 per cent of the revenue from each purchase straight to the film-maker. For more information, please visit www.indiepixfilms.com.
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