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Chef and Keep on Keepin’ On win big at Tribeca

The New York Times reports that the Tribeca Film Fest handed out awards for Best Narrative feature to Chef, and best documentary to Keep on Keepin’ on.

The winners were chosen by audiences who voted after watching all of the films.

Chef is not faring so well over at Metacritic, not that it means much at this stage but if even some of these guys, many of whom used to be much more easily swayed bloggers, didn’t go for it, that might not bode well for its overall reception by critics, bloggers, and tastemakers.

Keep on Keepin’ On, however, does seem Oscar bound, as it’s produced by Quincy Jones – has just been picked up for distribution by Radius-TWC (Weinstein Co) and described on the website thusly:

In his melodic debut, Australian-director Alan Hicks spent four years following the charming and sometimes poignant mentorship between jazz-legend Clark Terry and blind piano prodigy, Justin Kaulflin, during a pivotal moment in each of their lives. At eighty-nine years old, ‘CT’ has played alongside Duke Ellington and Count Basie; his pupils include Miles Davis and Quincy Jones, but his most unlikely friendship is with Justin, a 23-year-old with uncanny talent but debilitating nerves. As Justin prepares for a competition that could jumpstart his budding career, CT’s failing health threatens his own. Beautifully nostalgic with a reverence for the importance of finding your own sound, Keep On Keepin’ On celebrates an iconic musician while introducing one of equal vibrancy. It is a mentoring tale as inspirational as its subjects.

Press Release:

RADiUS VOWS TO ‘KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON’

INSPIRED, HEARTFELT FILM BY FIRST TIME FILMMAKER AL HICKS WHO WAS RECENTLY AWARDED BEST NEW DOCUMENTARY DIRECTOR AT TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL IS PRODUCED BY QUINCY JONES AND PAULA DUPRE’ PESMEN

New York, NY (April 26, 2014) – RADiUS-TWC proudly announced today that it has acquired worldwide rights as well as remake rights for the documentary KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON which celebrated its world premiere at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival. KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON is produced by seven time Academy Award® nominee Quincy Jones and Paula DuPre’ Pesmen (producer of the Oscar Winning THE COVE). The film’s director, Al Hicks, was just awarded the prize for Best New Documentary Director at the Tribeca Film Festival.

In his melodic debut, Australian director Hicks spent four years following the charming and sometimes poignant mentorship between jazz-legend Clark Terry and blind piano prodigy, Justin Kaulflin, during a pivotal moment in each of their lives. At eighty-nine years old, ‘CT’ has played alongside Duke Ellington and Count Basie; his pupils include Miles Davis and Quincy Jones, but his most unlikely friendship is with Justin, a 23-year-old with uncanny talent but debilitating nerves. As Justin prepares for a competition that could jumpstart his budding career, CT’s failing health threatens his own. Beautifully nostalgic with a reverence for the importance of finding your own sound, KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON celebrates an iconic musician while introducing one of equal vibrancy. It is a mentoring tale as inspirational as its subjects.

The deal for KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON was negotiated by Dan Guando, EVP of Acquisitions and RADiUS Co-Presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego for TWC with Josh Braun, Dan Braun, and David Koh of Submarine on behalf of the filmmakers. Legal services on behalf of the film makers were provided by Erik Hyman of Loeb and Loeb.

Said RADiUS Co-Presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego: “As was the case with 20 FEET FROM STARDOM, we’ve been incredibly fortunate to collaborate with gifted and talented musicians whose lives have been the inspiration for so many. Through Al’s deft hand, audiences will be given a bird’s eye view into the dynamic mentor/pupil relationship between Clark and Justin – two exceptional individuals who have persevered through adversity and overcome the hardest of obstacles. What a privilege we’ve been given to work alongside them, Quincy Jones and Paula DuPre’ Pesmen on Al’s completely gratifying film.”

Commented TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein: “The Tribeca Film Festival has always been an amazing source of upcoming talent. From TRANSAMERICA to BULLY, we have been proud to be a part of the success that Bob, Jane, and MSG have created. I think this has been the festival’s best year yet, and KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON is one of the best movies TWC will be a part of. Crafted by the brilliant talents of Alan Hicks, my friend Quincy Jones and Paula DuPre’ Pesmen, this is a rare and inspiring story that will strike a special chord with audiences everywhere, just as it did with us. We’re so thrilled to have the opportunity to share it with the world.”

“In my wildest dreams, I never would have imagined working on my first film with Harvey Weinstein, Paula DuPre’ Pesmen and Quincy Jones,” noted director Hicks. “I’m so grateful that Mr. Weinstein believes in this story and has chosen to take us under his wing. It’s an honor to have this team help bring Clark and his story to the world.”

Said producer Jones: “I could not be more excited to be working with RADiUS-TWC on such a special film. Harvey and I have been friends for many years and we have been waiting for the right opportunity to join forces. Harvey has always been a champion of the arts and the fact that he recognized the importance of Clark Terry’s contributions to American culture warms my heart. There’s nothing better than the right people coming together at the right time – something I should thank my longtime family Jane Rosenthal, Robert DeNiro, and the Tribeca team for. To know that a film about my first teacher Clark Terry – the man who put me on his shoulders more than seventy years ago – will get the chance to be seen by a wider audience makes my soul smile.”

“We’re thrilled to partner with The Weinstein Company and RADiUS to distribute the film,” commented producer DuPre’ Pesmen. “This movie has been a labor of love by the director Al Hicks, fellow producer Quincy Jones and our whole team and at the core of this passion is the desire to share the beauty of Clark Terry with the world”

1 Comment on this Post

  1. I wonder why y’all are posting the results of the audience voting and not the jury voting. Those awards were far more satisfactory than this popular vote for a populist film. The jury gave their Best Narrative Feature prize to an comedy directed by a woman and starring mostly women. I think that’s much more deserving of being featured than this pointless accolade for a pointless film.

    http://screenonscreen.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/point-and-shoot-and-zero-motivation-win.html

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