The world's first-ever film festival dedicated to Heavy Metal will take place at the Downtown Independent Cinema in Los Angeles, California from March 31 to April 3 2011.
Festival organizer Samuel Douek is proud to announce the first part of the maiden lineup for 2011's Heavy Metal Film Festival with many more films to be announced soon.
Samuel commented; "I think the metal community in Los Angeles will be surprised in many ways and people around the world will be intrigued about what our festival is all about.
"This is shaping up to be an international event with films from Lithuania, the U.K., USA, and Finland.
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"To open the very first Heavy Metal Film Festival, we have decided to give the honor to 'Las Marimbas Del Infierno' ('Marimbas From Hell') directed by Julio Hernández Cordón. A Guatemalan film with co-production from France and México, this tells an amazing story of survival, cultural tradition, heavy metal, and trying to live a decent life.
"This film premiered as an official selection at the Toronto Film Festival and then played at San Sebastian Film Festival in Spain. The film has already been selected at the Miami International Film Festival and will definitely travel the world.
"We are extremely happy to have the Los Angeles premiere of this unique and original story.
"The opening-night screening will be followed by a reception."
The aims and objectives of the film festival are spelled out on the Heavy Metal Film Fewstival website;
Bring together the metal community to watch our music on the big screen.
Promote films and their bands
Promote films that want to tell a story that touches Metal in some way or another.
Increase the quality in special edition enhanced material; making offs, concerts, etc.
The festival is being organized by Samuel Douek; a metal-head since age 6 and current director of the Hola Mexico Film Festival in Australia, NZ and USA.
OPENING NIGHT SPECIAL – LOS ANGELES PREMIERE LAS MARIMBAS DEL INFIERNO (MARIMBAS FROM HELL)
Director: Julio Hernandez Cordon. (Guatemalan, France & Mexico) 2010, 74 min
Don Alfonso is a deliveryman. He also plays marimbas, the traditional Guatemalan instrument. He is used to play a folkloric musical show in one of the fancy hotels of Guatemala City. He faces the population's lack of interest for his instrument, considered like out of date and old fashioned. Black is pioneer of the Heavy Metal Guatemalan underground stage. He also is also a doctor in the public hospital but nobody wants to be treated by him because of his long hair and his tattoos. When Don Alfonso and Black meet each other and decide to combine their talents and create a brand new project called Marimbas from Hell, they could never have imagined all the reactions they would provoke among the population.
This film tells an amazing story of survival and recurring to Metal to try and live a decent live. Premiered as an official selection at the Toronto FF and then played at San Sebastian film festival. The film has already been selected at the Miami International FF and will definitely travel the world.
PROMISED LAND OF HEAVY METAL
Directors: Kimmo Kuusniemi & Tanja Katinka Karttunen (Finland 2010)
Feature documentary film about the history and philosophy of Heavy Metal and how it became such a big deal in a small country called Finland. Telling the story of Finnish Metal, from its early "underground" days to the present success stories, by interviewing famous – and infamous – musicians, experts and events organizers, a psychiatrist, a priest and a doctor of theology. Can metal survive when it becomes mainstream, and Eurovision and Pop Idol competitions are won by metal? Metal has even entered the Finnish Lutheran church, that organizes metal masses.
The film includes all the big stars of Finnish Metal (HIM, Lordi, Sonata Arctica, Nightwish) many international celebrities (Entombed SWEDEN, Dimmu Borgir, Killswitch Engage, Carcass) and finally Madam President of Finland, Tarja Halonen.
THE BUNNY GAME + Q & A WITH DIRECTOR & CAST
Director: Adam Rehmeier (USA 2011)
A violent drama in black and white that will promise to be the talk of the festival, it's dialogue and photography scream Metal. With a soundtrack from local black metal band Harrasor, the film follows the life of a drug-addicted prostitute and how she is picked up by a truck driver and held against her will for 5 days. The Bunny Game is as much twisted performance art as traditional feature film. Equal parts snuff film and extremely non-traditional therapy, it's clear that normal cinematic rules don't apply. The director states: We wanted to make a film the same way in which we recorded music, and in that sense, The Bunny Game, is very much a musician's film.
Director: Daina Pupkeviciute (Lithuania 2011),
Documentary about thrash metal band from Lithuania, Dissimulation, from Ledo Takas Records. The film follows the band for 3 days in what a road trip of Metal is all about. The band has not played together in months and they are on their way to a local metal fest "Devilstone 2009". This film manages to bring the intense and beautiful scenery of Lithuania and it's landscapes to the Metal life of Lithuania and its citizens. The members of Dissimulation are not, by any means, your normal characters; as discussions about life and transformation are only the beginning of a philosophical debate that makes the band what it is.
ABSENT + Q & A WITH DIRECTOR
Director: Justin Hunt (USA 2011)
Exploring the worldwide crisis of absent and disengaged fathers and the negative impact that the "father wound" makes on society. Weaving interviews with participants who speak from observation and personal experience, the film includes on-camera testimony from author John Eldredge, World Champion boxer Johnny Tapia, fitness model Robin Decker and James Hetfield, best known as co-founder of Metallica.
HEAVY METAL THUNDER – THE MOVIE
Director: Coolhead Productions (UK 2010, 120 min)
SAXON are true heavy metal heroes. Their story is a classic rock 'n' roll saga: five friends from the backstreets of Yorkshire setting out to take on the world. The resulting chart glory, mixed with band infighting and full-on rock excess, ensures their dramatic tale will become part of heavy metal history. This feature-length documentary film tells the full warts-and-all story of 30 years of heartache, earache, success and excess. Produced by critically acclaimed documentary filmmakers Coolhead, it not only has contributions from SAXON, past and present, but also from the likes of Lars Ulrich (METALLICA), Lemmy and "Fast" Eddie Clarke (MOTÖRHEAD), and many, many others. It also features freshly-uncovered archive material. The whole production was funded by SAXON's army of loyal fans, who pre-ordered copies of the film before it was completed, providing Coolhead with the budget to make the film.
ANVIL, THE STORY OF ANVIL + Q & A WITH SACHA + LIPS
Director: Sacha Gervasi (USA 2008, 90 min)
At fourteen years old, best friends Lips and Robb Reiner made a pact to rock together forever. Their band Anvil, hailed as the "demi-gods of Canadian metal," influenced a musical generation including Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax. Though Anvil never made it, they never stopped playing or believing. Following a calamitous European tour, Lips and Robb, now well into their fifties, set off to record their thirteenth album, "This is Thirteen," in one last attempt to fulfill their boyhood dream.
Probably the most awarded music film in the last few years, and we are lucky enough that the film is about a Metal Band, Anvil! We decided to screen this film for many reasons, firstly; because we can! Second, because director Sacha and Lips will be joining us for a Q & A after the film for a very special presentation.
ASSORTED ATROCITIES (WITH BRAND NEW FOOTAGE)
Directors: Craig Cephola & Rob Dukes (USA 2011, 120min)
EXODUS pioneered the Bay Area Thrash scene back in 1980, the band has gone trough hell and back a few times. Without achieving the commercial success as some of their peers, they have been true to their music and fans, still creating great true great Metal. The film Assorted Atrocities covers the last 5 years, bringing you closer to the inner circle of the band. With stories from the road, including the craziest Paul Baloff moments, to the inside of the recording process of "Shovel Headed Kill Machine". Footage includes EXODUS in South America, Japan, Australia and Europe and a trip to the cartoon "METALOCALYPSE".
After the release of Assorted Atrocities in DVD, we asked the filmmakers if they wished to submit the film to the festival, for which they agreed and they even decided to add new footage to make this screening a very special night.
Documentary about the life and death of the notorious underground punk icon GG Allin, the foul mouthed, heroin shooting lead singer of the Murder Junkies, who would throw excrement at the crowd, start fights with the biggest guys in the audience, and threatened to kill himself onstage. He was considered the lowest common denominator of our society by some, an avant-garde artist by others. He died of an overdose in the early 90s.
This film was a school project from Todd Phillips (The Hangover, Old School).