UK Music Documentary Festival returns to Liverpool

The UK’s Music Documentary Festival returns in 2018 for its third Liverpool edition with an extended programme of eight premiere films running from 28th March to 1st April.

A huge local draw for the Doc’n Roll Film Festival this year is surely the UK premiere of a music documentary about Liverpool’s own Merseybeat heroes: The Big Three. For the first time, the band’s incredible story will be spotlighted in depth in Todd Kipp’s Some Other Guys – The Story of The Big Three.

As part of the festivities, Doc’n Roll will also be showcasing a series of sublime films focusing on subjects from: fierce pioneers of American grunge punk L7; the extraordinary Ella Fitzgerald; immeasurable jazz icon John Coltrane; Matt Johnson’s recently-revived seminal post-punk outfit The The;  the bubbling underground Techno scene of Iran; Manchester’s infamous electronic scene, and matters shedding light on the lack of female representation in the music industry.

This year’s edition also features filmmaker and artist Q&As.

Doc’n Roll is supported by the BFI using funds from the National Lottery to grow audience appetite and enjoyment for a wide range of independent British and international films.

Doc’n Roll Film Fest launched in 2014 and set out on a mission to show recognition to the under-the-radar music films that are largely ignored by risk-averse film programmers. Post-screening Q&As, DJ sets and live music themed on the films, all add to the overall cinematic experience.

Tickets are on sale now and available here.

Full film and listings information as follows:

19:00 WEDNESDAY 28 MARCH  Lovelocks Cafe (L1 6ER)

** Liverpool Premiere ** 

L7: Pretend We’re Dead

Dir. Sarah Price US, 2016, 82′

Fierce pioneers of American grunge punk, L7: Pretend We’re Dead is an engrossing time capsule told from the perspective of L7, these true insiders who brought their signature blend of grunge punk to the masses. Culled from over 100 hours of vintage home movies taken by the band, never-before-seen performance footage, and candid interviews, it takes viewers on an all access journey into the 1990’s grunge movement that took the world by storm. Charged with lyrics that had political bite and humour which proved irresistible to the disenfranchised, the marginalised, and the punk, they helped define grunge as the genre of a generation.

Chronicling the early days of the band’s formation in 1985 to their height as the ‘queens of grunge,’ the film is a roller coaster ride through L7’s triumphs and failures – a classic tale of rags to riches to rags. Featuring exclusive interviews with Exene Cervenka (X), Krist Novoselic (Nirvana), Shirley Manson (Garbage), Louise Post (Veruca Salt), Joan Jett and many more.

** Liverpool Premiere ** 

Manchester Keeps On Dancing + Q&A

Dir. Javi Senz, 2017, UK, 90mins

Q&A with the film’s producer, plus the legendary DJ Greg Wilson 

 A new feature film that documents – in exceptional detail – the arrival of House music in Manchester from Chicago in the 1980s, through to the Acid House explosion of 1988 and a further 30 years of its phenomenal impact. It is a truly remarkable social study of a subculture that helped put Manchester on the worldwide music map. Digging deeper than the story of the famed Haçienda club, this documentary presents archive footage that has never been seen on film, alongside in-depth interviews with local and international DJs, to explore how House music arrived in the city and take viewers on a journey through its memorable stories. The timeline begins pre-Haçienda and features contributions from each ensuing decade’s most respected DJs, producers, promoters and social commentators including Greg Wilson, Mike Pickering, Dave Haslam, Andrew Weatherall, Marshal Jefferson, Carl Craig, Eats Everything, Krysko, Laurent Garnier, Todd Terry, Seth Troxler and many more.


** Liverpool Premiere ** 

The Inertia Variations 

Dir. Johanna St Michaels, Sweden/UK, 2017, 85 mins

+ Skype Q&A with Matt Johnson TBC

Matt Johnson of post-punk band THE THE, known for his intensely personal and political songs, has remained silent as a singer-songwriter for the last 15 years. Conflicted by creative inertia, he has observed from the side-lines as corporate state propaganda has swamped the cultural airwaves.

To try and purge his feelings of disenchantment—and to attempt to relocate his mojo and muse—Johnson decides to challenge the narrow media consensus through his own radio broadcast. A long-term listener of shortwave radio, he launches Radio Cineola, his conceptual version of this romantic medium, via a live midday to midnight marathon. The show includes not only live music and poetry, but also interviews and discussion about where local, national and international democracy now stands in the 21st century. The guests range from geo-political analysts to local activists, from students of mind control to semiotics experts, from teachers to healers. A promise to the director of the documentary, his ex-partner Johanna St Michaels, to write a new song for the broadcast stirs up old demons of inertia and bereavement.




** UK Premiere **

Some Other Guys – The Story of the Big Three + Q&A

Dir. Todd Kipp, Canada, 2017, 100mins

A look back at Liverpool’s vibrant music scene in the 1960s, centred around the rise and fall of The Big Three.

How did the Beatles rocket to stardom when their rivals The Big Three vanished from the music scene just as the British Invasion was beginning? Just like the Beatles, The Big Three were part of the exploding music scene in the North of England in the ’60s, they spent their early days playing at Liverpool’s Cavern Club, and they shared the manager who made the Beatles stars, Brian Epstein. Where they differed, however, was The Big Three’s loud, raucous live shows, their penchant for drinking, and their refusal to sell out. Although they enjoyed a brief period in the spotlight, the band cut ties with Epstein and ended their careers in a legendary fist fight. Through in-depth on-location interviews with many of the movers and shakers of the time, Some Other Guys looks into many never heard before behind the scenes stories as well as the myths and legends that have evolved into lore. Starring

Brian “Griff” Griffiths, Johnny “Gus” Gustafson, Johnny “Hutch” Hutchinson and many others from the early days of British rock and roll!

** Liverpool Premiere ** 

Raving Iran + Q&A

Dir. Susanne Regina Meures, 2016, Switzerland, 84mins

Skype Q&A with director TBC 

 Anoosh and Arash are at the centre of Tehran’s underground techno scene. Tired of hiding from the police and their stagnating career, they organise one last manic techno rave in the desert, under dangerous circumstances. Back in Tehran they try their luck selling their illegally manufactured album. When Anoosh is arrested, there seems to be no hope left. But then they receive a phone call from the biggest techno festival in the world. Arriving in Switzerland, they are overwhelmed by the realisation of their own dream. The response from radio and newspaper interviews and the acclaim of millions of ravers and other DJs catapult them into another sphere.

** Liverpool Premiere ** 

Play Your Gender + Q&A

Dir. Stephanie Clattenburg, Canada, 2017, 80mins

Live Q&A (guests TBA)

Just 5% of music producers are women, even though many of the most bankable pop stars are female. In the entire history of the Grammys, only six women have been nominated for the Producer of the Year award, and no woman has ever won. In Play Your Gender, Juno Award-winning producer Kinnie Starr embarks on a quest to find out why this disparity exists by speaking to music industry stars and veterans about the realities of being a woman in the recording studio. The documentary features interviews with Sara Quinn of Tegan & Sara, Melissa Auf der Maur of Smashing Pumpkins and Hole, Patty Schemel of Hole, Chantal Kreviazuk, and many more of the music industry’s most talented women.

** Liverpool Premiere ** 

Pure Love: The Voice of Ella Fitzgerald 

Dir. Katja Duregger, 2017, Germany, 52mins

Focusing on the phenomenon of her extraordinary voice, this film pays tribute to The First Lady of Song – Ella Fitzgerald – on what would have been her 100th birthday on 25 April 2017. Fitzgerald’s voice is a phenomenon and unrivalled to this day. With absolute pitch and perfect intonation, her voice spanned three octaves, her phrasing seemed effortless, and the odd moments in her nearly 60-year career when she sang off-key were few and far between. There is almost no style of music in which she did not excel, and her numerous – now legendary – recordings of the Great American Songbook with pieces by US composers such as George and Ira Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter and Duke Ellington remained a benchmark for the interpretation of those songs for generations of singers. Ira Gershwin is rumoured to have said: “I didn’t realise how good our songs were until Ella sang them.” Duregger unravels the secret of Fitzgerald’s voice via insights from singers Dianne Reeves and Dee Dee Bridgewater, jazz drummer and producer Terri Lyne Carrington, jazz violinist Regina Carter, author Tad Hershorn and the eminent jazz critic Will Friedwald, among others. They describe the impact her voice had and continues to have on their lives.

** Liverpool Premiere ** 

Chasing ‘Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary

Dir. John Scheinfeld, US, 2017, 99mins 

 The definitive documentary film about an outside-the-box thinker with extraordinary talent whose boundary-shattering music continues to influence and inspire people around the world. This smart, passionate, thought-provoking and uplifting documentary is not just for jazz heads, but for anyone who appreciates the power of music to entertain, inspire and transform.

Trane was an enigmatic figure whose massive influence on generations of artists has grown even stronger since his untimely death at the age of 40. Scheinfeld’s film features great insights from notable fans, including commentary from Denzel Washington, Carlos Santana, Common, Cornell West, and many others.

Tickets are on sale now and available here.

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