9TH ANNUAL CLARKSDALE FILM FESTIVAL

in historic Clarksdale, Mississippi
January 25-26, 2019!

Our nonprofit event specializes in Mississippi-connected and music-related (blues/roots) movies. We also feature live blues music performances, history bus tours, a film workshop, nightly lobby receptions, special guests and more. The price? Just $5 per day!

Also, get out at night for live blues around town.

MUSIC CALENDAR at https://www.cathead.biz/music-calendar.

Questions? Please email roger@cathead.biz.

Friday - January 25, 2019

9:00 AM VISIT CLARKSDALE'S MUSEUMS & TOURISM OFFICE (related event)
Where: CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI (downtown)

DELTA BLUES MUSEUM (1 Blues Alley) 10am-5pm - Fri-Sat, 1/25-26. ROCK & BLUES MUSEUM (113 E 2nd St) 10am-5pm - Fri-Sat, 1/25-26 and Mon-Tues, 1/28-29. TENNESSEE WILLIAMS RECTORY MUSEUM (106 Sharkey Ave.), 10am-1pm - Sat, 1/26. "VISIT CLARKSDALE" TOURISM OFFICE (326 Blues Alley) Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-noon - 1/25-26.

12:00 PM LENS COLLECTIVE: MISSISSIPPI DOCS presented by University of MS - 32 minutes
Where: New Roxy

The LENS COLLECTIVE multimedia workshop brought together 15 mentors and 31 students from 8 universities and gave them 12 hours to film and 6 hours to edit. Here is a sampling of what they came up with. MISSISSIPPI FILMS INCLUDE Community by Cup (Clarksdale), Faith Hope and Inspiration (Clarksdale), Country Platter (Cleveland), Mr. Eyesew (Clarksdale), Sharecropper Blues (Greenwood), Yolandevan Heerden (Greenwood), Who is Miss Vera Mae Pigee (Clarksdale), Amzie Moore (Cleveland), Signs (Charleston).

12:30 PM CHEESEHEAD BLUES: ADVENTURES OF A DUTCHMAN IN THE MS DELTA (final cut) - 82 minutes
Where: Grandma's Sports Bar

CHEESEHEAD BLUES features the music of T-Model Ford, Super Chikan, Bill “Howl-n-Madd” Perry, Liz Mandeville, Sean “Bad” Apple, Deak Harp and others/ This highly entertaining documentary centers on the life of Theo “Boogieman” Dasbach, a native of the Netherlands who’s been running the ROCK 'N BLUES MUSEUM out of a storefront in Clarksdale, Miss., for the past several years. But it also serves as an in-depth study into the minds of residents – both locally born and emigres – who are working at a grassroots level to keep the blues alive at the place of its birth. Jan Doense, a blues lover and the director of this project, first met Dasbach in 2011 during a trip to CLARKSDALE, which is both the birthplace of W.C. Handy and the city where Bessie Smith met her untimely end. He was captivated by the extensive collection of blues and early rock memorabilia displayed by his countryman, a fellow “Kaaskop” or “Cheesehead” in Dutch nomenclature. Q&A WITH THEO DASBACH follows.

1:15 PM WE LIVED THE BLUES: GREAT FLOOD OF 2016 - 16 minutes
Where: New Roxy

WE LIVED THE BLUES.... Born and raised in Baton Rouge, both Smokehouse & Mamie fell in love with the sights and sounds of Louisiana blues. And not long after, each other. Fast forward to August 2016, and we find Smokehouse and Miss Mamie Porter in a fight for survival as Baton Rouge and the greater community they’ve built around swamp blues falls prey to rising flood waters. This is Smokehouse and Mamie’s story of survival and what truly comes after the flood. As seen through each other’s eyes. 2018 RockSet Productions.

1:45 PM THE EARLY FILMS OF WILLIAM FERRIS: 1968-75 - 115 minutes
Where: New Roxy

Former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities, folklorist WILLIAM FERRIS toured his home state of Mississippi throughout the 1960s and 1970s, documenting the voices of African Americans as they spoke about and performed the diverse musical traditions that form the roots of the blues. Festival FILMS INCLUDE Black Delta, Part I (1968), Black Delta, Part II (1968), Parchman Penitentiary (1968), Give My Poor Heart Ease: Mississippi Delta Bluesmen (1975), I Ain’t Lyin’: Folktales from Mississippi (1975), Made in Mississippi: Black Folk Art and Crafts (1975), Two Black Churches (1975).

2:15 PM PARADISE BOOGIE: DETROIT BLUES - 69 minutes
Where: Grandma's Sports Bar

Paradise Boogie shines a light on the influence of Detroit's early blues musicians, the neighborhoods of Black Bottom and Paradise Valley and how it all influenced the music makers of today and tomorrow. Detroit's bluesmakers demonstrate the melding of times and sharing of cultures through the blues. Highlighting the alliance of a veteran hall of famer musician and a 10 year old harp player, we honor the past, savor the present and strive toward the future of Detroit blues. With Little Arthur Anderson, Mighty Michael Mendelson, Shirley Mae Owens, George Thorogood, Robert Whitall Jr. and many more.

3:45 PM EVER SINCE I STOLE THE BLUES: MOSE ALLISON - 60 minutes
Where: Grandma's Sports Bar

Paul Bernays’ affectionate portrait tells the story of legendary jazz/blues singer, songwriter, and pianist MOSE ALLISON (1927-2016)—called the “jazz sage” by some, the “William Faulkner of jazz” by others, and a treasure by most everyone — and his journey from TIPPO, MISSISSIPPI, to the international stage. Occupying a singular place and influence in the pantheon of greats, among those singing Mose’s praises are Pete Townsend, Van Morrisson, Georgie Fame, Loudon Wainwright, Elvis Costello, and Bonnie Raitt. As the Kinks’ Ray Davies once said, “When I discovered Mose Allison I felt I had discovered the missing link between jazz and blues.”

4:00 PM MISSISSIPPI MADAM: THE LIFE OF NELLIE JACKSON - 81 minutes
Where: New Roxy

A known legend in Natchez is the place everyone called Nellie's. Nellie Jackson, a black woman from a small community 36 miles south of Natchez, was born into rural poverty in 1902. Despite the constraints of the times, she became one of the most powerful people in historic Natchez, Mississippi, rising up from being a housekeeper to running a very successful business, a bordello they called Nellie's. "It seems strange that a community would have so much affection for a madam. It's very strange, I know, but she was the sort of person who was living in the presence of both the devil and the Lord." - Former Alderman Paul O' Malley. FOLLOWED BY A FILMMAKER Q&A!

5:00 PM 5pm RECEPTION w/live blues by LUCIOUS SPILLER at Grandma's! - 60 minutes
Where: Grandma's Sports Bar

The Clarksdale Film & Music Festival features a "live" blues performance and complimentary refreshments (while quantities last) to attendees. Included in $5 festival ticket.

6:15 PM SIDEMEN: LONG ROAD TO GLORY presented by Blues Music Magazine - 80 minutes
Where: Grandma's Sports Bar

In the summer of 2008, a group of legendary bluesmen, some of the last surviving members of the Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters bands, were brought together by director Scott Rosenbaum for a cameo appearance in his feature film, The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Pinetop Perkins, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and Hubert Sumlin were cast for their authenticity and ability to underscore the film’s critical subplot, the evolution of rock ‘n’ roll through the blues. During breaks in production, these bluesmen thrilled Rosenbaum with their tales of a lifetime spent on the road. First hand accounts of experiences with the mythical Robert Johnson, the larger-than-life Howlin’ Wolf, the seminal Muddy Waters and disciples such as Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones got the director’s creative wheels spinning. Between takes, Sumlin called Rosenbaum over to the bandstand and prophetically told him of his feeling that they would be working together again. In an instant, an idea that had been germinating with the director for years took root. When the bluesmen’s booking agent, Hugh Southard approached Rosenbaum, asking him to lend the film’s name to help galvanize a world tour featuring these legendary musicians, a concept had fully blossomed. Having grown up on Martin Scorsese’s valediction to The Band, The Last Waltz, Rosenbaum wanted to make a film that similarly honored the life and musical legacy of these aging bluesmen. Members of The Doors, The Allman Brothers, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Aerosmith, The Dave Matthews Band, as well as artists like Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Winter, Bobby Rush and Shemekia Copeland share their personal and professional recollections of these men and the impact that they’ve had on their own careers. When asked how they hoped to be remembered, Willie, Pine and Hubert consistently expressed their wish to be known for both having kept the blues alive and to serve as an inspiration for the younger generations of musicians. Interviews with blues acolytes Joe Bonamassa, Eric Gales, Warren Haynes, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Derek Trucks affirm that their legacies are alive and well.


Saturday - January 26, 2019

9:00 AM VISIT CLARKSDALE'S MUSEUMS & TOURISM OFFICE (related event)
Where: CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI (downtown)

DELTA BLUES MUSEUM (1 Blues Alley) 10am-5pm - Fri-Sat, 1/25-26. ROCK & BLUES MUSEUM (113 E 2nd St) 10am-5pm - Fri-Sat, 1/25-26 and Mon-Tues, 1/28-29. TENNESSEE WILLIAMS RECTORY MUSEUM (106 Sharkey Ave.), 10am-1pm - Sat, 1/26. "VISIT CLARKSDALE" TOURISM OFFICE (326 Blues Alley) Fri 9am-5pm, Sat 9am-noon - 1/25-26.

11:50 AM EARWORM: THE GREATEST ALBUM COVERS OF JAZZ presented by Vox - 7 minutes
Where: Grandma's Sports Bar

When asked to visualize what jazz looks like, you might picture bold typography, two tone photography, and minimal graphic design. If you did, you’re recalling the work of a jazz label that single-handedly defined the “look” of jazz music in the 1950s and 1960s: Blue Note. This mini-doc explores Blues Note's groundbreaking album cover designs. Inspired by the ever present Swiss lettering style that defined 20th century graphic design (think Paul Rand), Blue Note captured the refined sophistication of jazz during the early 60s, particularly during the hard bop era, and gave it a definitive visual identity through album covers. Blue Note Records captured the refined sophistication of jazz during the early 60s, giving it its signature look in the process.

12:00 PM HISTORY BUS TOUR OF CLARKSDALE w/Robert Birdsong
Where: New Roxy

PLEASE MEET AT NEW ROXY 15 MINUTES BEFORE TOUR START TIME. Historian/storyteller Robert Birdsong is your tour guide, as the annual Clarksdale Film & Music Festival HISTORY BUS TOUR drives you by important film/music/Civil Rights/literary sites around town. Included in your $5 festival ticket (limited seating; first come, first served).

12:00 PM EXPRESSIONS OF THE BLUES: THE ART OF CAROL BOSS - 7 minutes
Where: New Roxy

Perhaps best known as "the woman who painted blues legend Big George Brock's colorful tour bus by hand," CAROL BOSS recently embarked on a new blues project. She painted mostly Mississippi and St. Louis connected blues performers on old ceiling tin and took the show on the road. Most recently these paintings appeared at the BB King Museum in Indianola, MS.

12:00 PM TALES OF A CITY: MISSISSIPPI MIRACLE - 39 minutes
Where: Grandma's Sports Bar

TALES OF A CITY (Australian TV production) presents the incredible true story of terminal cancer patient and eternal blues fan Mark Pedler and his best friend Stuart Knowles as they take the ultimate pilgrimage to the home of the Delta Blues in 2018 — and an extraordinary miracle happens. Featuring Clarksdale, Mississippi, and other Delta locations as well as local blues musicians like Lucious Spiller, Watermelon Slim and more…

12:15 PM HIGH WATER EVERYWHERE: CHARLEY PATTON - 10 minutes
Where: New Roxy

Short video tribute the the Father of Delta blues, a true blue character — CHARLEY PATTON. Interviews with Chester Burnett, Booker Miller, and Son House. Music by Charley Patton. Editing by Daniel Grant and Wayne Nelsen. Animation by Wayne Nelsen.

12:30 PM FRONT PORCH STAGE: KING BISCUIT BLUES FESTIVAL - 60 minutes
Where: New Roxy

The King Biscuit Blues Festival in nearby Helena, AR, offers up multiple stages of blues and roots music each October. Perhaps the deepest blues stage of all is one run by Carla Robinson — the FRONT PORCH STAGE. Each year the Clarksdale Film Festival screens the newest video produced by the Delta Cultural Center; this year it is from the 2017 fest.

12:50 PM HORN FROM THE HEART: THE PAUL BUTTERFIELD STORY - 144 minutes
Where: Grandma's Sports Bar

Documentary about the life and career of legendary blues musician Paul Butterfield. A white, teen-age harmonica player from Chicago’s south side, Paul learned the blues from the original black masters performing nightly in his own back yard. Muddy Waters was Paul’s mentor and lifelong friend, happy to share his wisdom and expertise with such a gifted young acolyte. The interracial Paul Butterfield Blues Band, featuring the twin guitar sound of Michael Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, the rhythm section of Sam Lay and Jerome Arnold and the keyboards of Mark Naftalin, added a rock edge to the Chicago blues, bringing an authenticity to its sound that struck a chord with the vast white rock audience and rejuvenated worldwide interest in the blues. The band's first LP, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band released on Elektra Records in 1965, was named “#11 Blues Album of All Time” by Downbeat. The only artist to perform at The Newport Folk Festival in 1965, The Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and Woodstock in 1969, Paul would continue to break new ground in the blues and to stand up for racial equality until his death at age 44 in 1987 of a drug overdose.

1:30 PM HISTORY BUS TOUR OF CLARKSDALE w/Robert Birdsong
Where: New Roxy

PLEASE MEET AT NEW ROXY 15 MINUTES BEFORE TOUR START TIME. Historian/storyteller Robert Birdsong is your tour guide, as the annual Clarksdale Film & Music Festival HISTORY BUS TOUR drives you by important film/music/Civil Rights/literary sites around town. Included in your $5 festival ticket (limited seating; first come, first served).

1:45 PM BLUE MAGNOLIA FILMS PRESENTS FREEDOM FILMS - 75 minutes
Where: New Roxy

Blue Magnolia Films in partnership with Sunflower County Freedom Project, Meridian Freedom Project and Rosedale Freedom Project with support from The Phil Hardin Foundation, will screen a series of short photo documentaries by Freedom Fellows, ages 10 to 18. The photo documentaries, each four minutes in length, highlight the importance of conversations between Civil Rights veterans and next generation leadership. The films highlight the stories of eighteen Civil Rights and community leaders, including: Hattie R. Jordan, Director of Fannie Lou Hamer Garden and Memorial Museum, Ruleville; Jeannie Russell, Owner of Russell's Grocery, Sunflower, MS; Ms. Virginia McLurian, Civil Rights Activist; Mildred Downey, Co-Founder, Visionary & Youth Advocate, Sunflower Country Freedom Project; Beverly Fulton, Advocate for the Elderly; Aa’Keela Hudnall, Attorney; Syria Sturdivant, Civil Rights Leader; Roscoe Jones, Civil Rights Leader & Founder, The Freedom ’64 Project; Allan Willis, Civil Rights Leader & Professional Golf Coach; Judge Veldore Young Graham of Meridian, MS; Ricky Hood, Director of Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi; Janice Shaw, grandmother; Fannie Mae Johnson, Councilwoman & Director of L.O.V.E.’s Kitchen, Meridian; Conchetta Turner, Rosedale Police Officer; Mildrette Netter White, Olympic Champion; Jewel Sanders, Civil Rights Activist; Barbara Pope, Business Owner, White Front Cafe, Rosedale, MS; and Rita Jones-Smith, School Counselor.

2:00 PM PODCAST & YOUTUBE VIDEO WORKSHOP w/filmmaker Coop Cooper
Where: Delta Blues Museum (Arts & Education Room)

FREE event presented by the 9th annual CLARKSDALE FILM FESTIVAL in cooperation with the DELTA BLUES MUSEUM, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year! Special "Podcast & Youtube Video Workshop" with Clarksdale filmmaker and movie critic Coop Cooper. In the museum's Arts & Education Room.

3:00 PM MAKING SILENT FILMS WORKSHOP w/filmmaker Will Goss
Where: Delta Blues Museum (Arts & Education Room)

FREE event presented by the 9th annual CLARKSDALE FILM FESTIVAL in cooperation with the DELTA BLUES MUSEUM, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year! Special "Making Silent Films Workshop" with Clarksdale filmmaker and educator Will Goss. In the museum's Arts & Education Room.

3:15 PM GIANTS CHRONICLES: THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF CHARLIE CONERLY - 23 minutes
Where: New Roxy

CHARLIE CONERLY — MVP on the gridiron, hero on the battlefield, Malboro Man. Before his legendary career, Charlie Conerly — who came from humble beginnings in Clarksdale, Mississippi — served as a Sergeant in the and fought bravely in the South Pacific during WWII. This fascinating new documentary traces the life of Conerly from Clarksdale to the world as both a college and professional football player — including his magical 1956 season winning the NFL Championship with the New York Giants. (After a standout career with Big Blue, Charlie Conerly became the iconic "Marlboro Man", which took his fame to a whole new level!) GIANTS CHRONICLES looks back on Conerly's truly incredible life. Special thanks to the Giants (especially Donald Sperling) for allowing us to showcase their new film about our hometown hero. Followed by SPECIAL Q&A with film director Michael Collins and Conerly family guests, Lulu Maness (of MS Sports Hall of Fame) and Perian Stribling.

3:30 PM JUNIOR KIMBROUGH UNSEEN - 60 minutes
Where: Grandma's Sports Bar

Recently restored archival footage by UNC Southern Folklife Collection, courtesy of Jas Obrecht, and footage from the private collection of Johnnie Smith features JUNIOR KIMBROUGH in May 1989 and August 1990. "Live" performance plus a rare interview with Junior. Other musicians appearing include Little Joe Ayers and Calvin Jackson. Q&A with special guests Little Joe Ayers, Amy Verdon, Johnnie "Jamma" Smith and others immediately following the screening. (After the Q&A, please stay around for the festival's daily 5pm lobby reception with blues and more.)

4:05 PM BETTY DAVIS: THEY SAY I'M DIFFERENT - 54 minutes
Where: New Roxy

Director Phil Cox who has written this creative documentary after four years of the film team conversing and spending time with Betty Davis and brings his interpretation of her story to the screen. will show that Betty Davis was a woman ahead of her time—and that she suffered for her uncompromising independence. Along the way, viewers will see that she was the equal of Tina Turner or Chaka Khan in terms of style, stage charisma, and pure sex appeal, and that Betty laid the groundwork for later divas such as Erykah Badu and Macy Gray, white soul singers like Amy Winehouse and Nikka Costa, and rockers Karen O and Jennifer Herrema. Her influence on fashion alone, via her friendships with top designers Betsey Johnson, Halston, and Stephen Burrows, continues to resonate today as designers and artists in the U.S., U.K., France, and Japan — from American Apparel to the online fashion store Nasty Gal Inc — pay tribute to her style. The film further illuminates how, through her groundbreaking funk music and sexed-up lyrics and stage act, Betty broke and flouted taboos in the 1970s, resisting what was deemed “respectable” for women by the record industry and establishment culture. In the 21st century, as her music continues to be discovered and Betty is cited as a major influence by artists as diverse as Madonna and Prince, Lenny Kravitz and Peaches, the story of this “black panther woman” (Carlos Santana) will finally be told, and the mystery of her fall into oblivion made comprehensible, even to those closest to her, for the very first time. (Special screening thanks to special support of Eric Stone.)

5:00 PM 5pm RECEPTION w/live blues by SEAN 'BAD' APPLE at Grandma's! - 60 minutes
Where: Grandma's Sports Bar

The Clarksdale Film & Music Festival features a "live" blues performance and complimentary refreshments (while quantities last) to attendees. Included in $5 festival ticket.

6:15 PM MISSISSIPPI RAMBLIN': ON THE TRAIL OF ROBERT JOHNSON - 52 minutes
Where: Grandma's Sports Bar

MISSISSIPPI RAMBLIN' is a beautiful new documentary created in tribute to Robert Johnson (2018 marked the 80th anniversary of his death). At the crossroads of music and art, the new film is an initiatory journey to the birthplace of the blues made under the masterful eye of French director Nicolas Finet. In 2014, cartoon authors Mezzo and Dupont told what we know of Johnson’s story in their highly-acclaimed graphic novel LOVE IN VAIN, which in turn has become a best-seller in multiple languages. In the fall of 2017, they agreed to travel to travel the blues highways in search of the key places in Robert Johnson’s odyssey — deep in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, the "land where blues began." Mississippi Ramblin’ recounts their trip there, peppered with their numerous encounters with genuine bluesmen of the Deep South (among them are R.L. Boyce, Watermelon Slim, Ben Payton, and Lucious Spiller). It’s an initiatory journey to the birthplace of an undying musical genre. SPECIAL INTRODUCTION and Q&A with French director Nicolas Finet, who is flying in just for the US premiere — capping off this year's Clarksdale Film Festival. REVIEWS: “I just finished watching your beautiful film Mississippi Ramblin’ and love it… shows the fascinating relationship of contemporary blues artists to the Delta blues tradition.” - William Ferris (noted blues author/professor) “Bravo… Bon travail! The documentary is excellent!” - Larry Cohn (producer, Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings)