BMI will present “Music for Change,” a panel showcasing both prominent and emerging musicians and filmmakers who use music as a tool for social change, during the 2010 Woodstock Film Festival in Woodstock, New York. Slated for October 2 at 4 p.m. in Utopia Studios, the conversation will be moderated by Doreen Ringer Ross, BMI Vice President, Film/TV Relations.
Director Kenneth Bowser, composers Miriam Cutler and Sussan Deyhim, producer Summer Love, director Ron Mann, and songwriter/musicians John Sebastian and Justin Sane will discuss how music has helped shape popular culture and politics. Panelists will focus primarily on the films screening at the Woodstock Film Festival, which will encompass a wide range of artists and social movements.
Kenneth Bowser is a director of documentaries, feature films and episodic television and specializes in crafting stories about American culture. In addition to “Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune,” he is the writer, producer and director of NBC’s Emmy-nominated network special, “Live From New York: The First Five Years of Saturday Night Live,” celebrating the 30th Anniversary of SNL. He also worked on the SNL network specials for the 80s and 90s and is currently creating the 2000s episode. His next project is a narrative feature based on Peter Biskind’s bestseller entitled Down & Dirty Pictures.
BMI composer Miriam Cutler co-produced and scored the documentary One Lucky Elephant, which will compete this year at the Woodstock Film Festival. Other acclaimed scores composed by Cutler include Ghosts of Abu Grhaib, Family Affair, Chris and Don, Lost in La Mancha, and Licensed to Kill. An advisor at the Sundance Documentary Composers Lab, Cutler has also served on documentary juries at the Sundance Film Festival, Independent Spirit Awards, IDA and AFI Awards.
Sussan Deyhim is an Iranian composer, vocalist and performance artist. Deyhim’s wide-ranging collaborations with leading artists have included Peter Gabriel, Jerry Garcia, The Blue Man Group and prominent female visual artists Shirin Neshat and Sophie Calle. Currently, Deyhim is working on The House is Black, based on the work and life of the literary icon of Iranian contemporary poetry Forough Farrokhzad.
Summer Love (Naomi Preney) has produced several short documentaries showcasing up-and-coming Canadian fashion designers and musicians. With her company, Deltatime Productions, she leads a team of creative talent whose passion for music and politics helped create her first feature documentary, Sounds Like a Revolution.
Ron Mann makes award-winning feature documentaries that focus on alternative and dissent culture. The Woodstock Film Festival has been screening Mann’s films since Go Further, a musical-eco-road movie about activism and sustainable living. This year, the festival is pleased to present In the Wake of the Flood, which puts Margaret Atwood’s words to music for change.
As the leader of folk-rock band the Lovin’ Spoonful, John Sebastian was responsible for a string of top ten hits from 1965-1967 that included the chart-toppers “Daydream” and “Summer in the City.” He returned to number one in 1976 as a solo artist with “Welcome Back.” As an instrumentalist, primarily playing harmonica, he has accompanied a wide range of artists including Judy Collins, Crosby, Stills & Nash, the Doors, Bob Dylan, Laura Nyro, Graham Parker, Dolly Parton, Peter, Paul & Mary, John Prine, and Bonnie Raitt. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.
Justin Sane is the founding member of the seminal punk band Anti-Flag. Also a founding member of the non-profit Military Free Zone, Sane has worked with Amnesty International, Green Peace, PETA and numerous other organizations.
For more information on the Woodstock Film Festival, visit woodstockfilmfestival.com.