Chicago int'l movies & music festival

CNC report from Chicago
Added On April 23, 2013

The fifth edition of the Chicago International Movies and Music Festival wrapped up Sunday evening at Constellation, the city's newly opened performing arts center.

The four-day festival annually brings together filmmakers, musicians and devotees from around the world for a celebration of movies and music at various venues around the city, including Constellation and Music Box theater.

More than 70 films from 27 countries were screened, including features, documentaries, shorts, animation and music videos, all with music at their center. And most of these are screened for the first time in North America or in the US.

This year's international highlights include "Waiting for the Tsunami", a feature documentary by French filmmaker Vincent Moon' s collaboration with Argentinean "transfolk" duo Luna Cruz as they journey across Colombia.

And "Harana: The Search for the Lost Art of Serenade", a Philippines-USA collaborative production telling the story of a Filipino-American classical guitarist rediscovering a traditional Filipino music.

Among the screened films is also "Follow Me Down: Portraits of Louisiana Prison Musicians", a music documentary about music in prison. Shot over the course of two years in three Louisiana prisons, the documentary showcased the life of the group of people who never stopped their pursuit of musical dreams.

Besides the screenings, the audience got the chance to communicate with filmmakers in the Q&A section, attracting film and music lovers to learn and exchange ideas.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) TOM NICPON, Festival goer
"The movies are awesome. The festivals are awesome. Enjoyable, very enjoyable."

Another highlight of this year's event is the 10 Rolling Stones related screenings as part of a celebration of the classic rock band's 50th anniversary. Though it's actually been 51 years since the founding of the band, the celebration starting from last year simply doesn't seem to be ending around the world.

Deb is one of the music fans who came to watch "Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out", a film on the rock band.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) DEB SONEO, Festival goer
"It just put me back to the place where I wish I could be. I grew up in the seventies. I was three when they filmed this. It just make me feel like I was born in the wrong time. Music was so different back then. But it is a different experience now than it was then, I think people were a little more free than they're today. And concerts have more of high production. And I like how rock that was. And I like how innocent it seemed, even though they were a little drugged out. But I miss that connection. That's why I'm seeing a lot of smaller bands now because it's more intimate. Next year, I'll for sure be at more events because I think it is lovely and the fact they brought this to us, it's a gift."

For more than 30 years, Western pop culture has fused music with visuals. Music and video are, as the logo for the CIMMFest indicates, "inseparable." The annual event, by sharing music videos or movies centered on music, tries to emphasize the interconnectedness of the two art forms.