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A Complete Guide To Music & Film At Sundance 2012

Sundance-logoMusic is always a big part of the Sundance Film Festival since few films made today do not include music. However, music at Sundance 2012 goes beyond film scores to include not only documentaries and narrative films but special events and live music. What follows is a list of every film featuring music showing at this year's Sundance Film Festival, January 19 through 29, plus special events including a livestreamed concert with Ice T, Chuck D and Grandmaster Caz.

The Sundance Film Festival's 2012 Festival Music Program includes live performances at the Sundance ASCAP Music Café and at least two events sponsored by BMI, a special appearance by Donovan and a roundtable discussion on Music and Film, The Creative Process.

But the big excitement for hip hop fans will be A Celebration of Music In Film featuring rappers from the documentary SOMETHING FROM NOTHING: THE ART OF RAP directed by Ice T. Chuck D, Grandmaster Caz and Ice T, along with special guests, will appear in a 300 seat theater which may be one reason the event is also being livestreamed.


I went through the 2012 Festival guide and tried to find every music-related film. I couldn't really choose between them all so here's the list. Let me know if I left anything out.

Music Documentaries

  • GYPSY DAVY - "How does a white boy with Alabama roots become a flamenco guitarist in Andalusian boots, and what happens behind the scenes along the way?"
  • The Last Elvis - "In the unique world of the Buenos Aires celebrity-impersonator scene, 'Elvis' Gutiérrez is a star."
  • SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN - Two fans go in search of what happened to Rodriguez, the "greatest '70s U.S. rock icon who never was."
  • SOMETHING FROM NOTHING: THE ART OF RAP - Directed by and featuring Ice T who "travels from coast to coast, engaging intimately with the likes of Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmaster Caz, Nas, Mos Def, Eminem, Chuck D, KRS-One, Run-DMC, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Snoop Dogg."
  • SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS - Documents the final concert of LCD Soundsystem at Madison Square Garden.
  • Under African Skies - "On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of Graceland’s release, [Paul] Simon returns to South Africa for a reunion concert that unearths the turbulent birth of the album."

Filly Brown - At the studio

Narrative Features

  • California Solo - "Lachlan MacAldonich is a self-described 'lazy Scotsman' and former guitar player for a once-popular 1990s rock band" faced with deportation.
  • Filly Brown - Gina Rodriguez plays Filly Brown, a young rapper faced with a record deal that may save her financially at the price of her integrity.
  • I AM NOT A HIPSTER - "Things are not looking good for Brook, a young, talented singer/songwriter who has become the clichéd tortured artist."
  • Predisposed - Stars that guy who played Mark Zuckerberg as piano prodigy Eli Smith who's always in conflict with his mom, played by Melissa Leo.
  • This Must Be the Place - Stars Sean Penn as "Cheyenne, the bizarre former lead singer of an iconic goth rock band" who goes Nazi hunting.
  • Violeta Went to Heaven - Based on the life of world renowned Chilean artist Violeta Parra.

Multimedia and Shorts

Wish I could be there!

Hypebot Features Writer Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and music industry resources at Music Biz Blogs. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.