The 2005 San Francisco World
Film Festival to Screen More
Music Documentaries

The San Francisco World Film Festival (“SWIFT”) was created and launched in 2003 as an alternative international festival in San Francisco. I became involved with the festival by virtue of my friendship with its director, the beautiful and talented Karen Gabai, who I met at the Sundance Film Festival each of the last two years. Karen was introduced to me by our mutual friends in the Mermen (,and my commitment to this year’s festival has grown as has our friendship. I’ve been helping out this year programming the festival.
Although the focus of the festival has historically been the exhibition of independent films from the global film community, it has been my goal to increase their commitment to screening documentary films based on musical subjects. I have thusfar been able to forge introductions to a number of filmmakers with whom I have been consulting, in the hope of providing a San Francisco premiere at this year’s festival. Although the following films may not yet been confirmed for SWIFT, we are hopeful to screen this year these excellent music docs:

“I Know I’m Not Alone”, produced and directed by Michael Franti (of the band Spearhead), who armed with an acoustic guitar and a video camera, takes us on a musical journey through war and occupation in Iraq, Israel, and Palestine, along the way sharing his music with families, doctors musicians, soldiers, and everyday people who in turn reveal the often overlooked human cost of war.

“Amazing Grace: Jeff Buckley”, directed by Nyla Adams, contains almost every piece of footage available featuring this incredible and influential musical artist, woven together with interviews by those who loved him, his music and its enduring impact.

“Word Sound And Power”, directed by Jerry Stein, is in my recollection one of the three great reggae films to hit theatres in 1980, (along with “The Harder They Come”, and “Rockers”), all celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. The film follows the exploits of Soul Syndicate, Jamaica’s greates group of instrumentalists, who have performed with Bob Marley and the Wailers, Toots and the Maytals, Jimmy Cliff, the Heptones, Burning Spear and others. Earl Chinna Smith, Tony Chin, Santa, Fully, and Tenor are the finest musicians in the history of reggae music.

In addition, Karen advises me that the festival plans to screen “Malfunkshun”, a documentary about Andrew Wood, the deceased lead singer of Seattle grunge band, Mother Love Bone.