New Jersey has no shortage of film festivals. But it has never seen an event like the Asbury Music in Film Festival, which takes places Friday through Sunday.
It takes place in 11 venues throughout Asbury Park, including theaters, nightclubs and art galleries. There will be screenings, of course, but also talks and performances related to the movies. For example, a documentary about the pioneering jazz-fusion bassist, Jaco Pastorius, will be shown at the Paramount Theatre on Saturday night. This will be followed by a Q&A session with Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo, who co-produced the movie, and then a jam session featuring Pastorius-inspired music at the Stone Pony.
This may not be just the first festival of its kind in New Jersey. It may be the first festival of its kind, anywhere. In a phone interview, festival co-producer Tim Donnelly said he wasn’t sure if there were any other festivals like it.
“There’s always music talks at South by Southwest and other places,” he said. “But distinctly dealing with music and films … I don’t know.
“Honestly, when the idea came up, it was like, do it, because I knew it was incredibly unique. But I didn’t do any research to see if there’s another one out there.”
Obviously, the setting — Asbury Park, with its storied musical history and vibrant current scene — gives the festival a lot of its flavor. A new short film about the Upstage Club, which launched the careers of Bruce Springsteen and many other musicians in the ’60s, will be shown, and Danny Clinch will show his Grammy-nominated long-form video about Springsteen’s “Devils & Dust” album and other films.
But the festival, presented by the Asbury Park Music Foundation in partnership with the Asbury Park Press, is also “a showcase for what’s happening now” in Asbury Park, Donnelly says. “We do have the old school represented, as well as what’s happening now in Asbury. So that’s really exciting.”
The bands Creeptones, The Hive, Wyland and The Porchistas will offer their own takes on classic movie soundtrack music at the Wonder Bar on Friday. Young local musicians will be showcased at Salt Studios on Saturday afternoon, and videos by local bands such as The Battery Electric and Quincy Mumford & the Reason Why will be shown at The Saint. New Jersey’s punk-rock history will be explored in documentaries and related performances devoted to the Bouncing Souls, Rye Coalition and the Trenton nightclub, City Gardens.
Music-only events include Robby Krieger of The Doors at The Stone Pony, Friday night, and the Matt O’Ree’s band Led Zeppelin tribute at the Wonder Bar, Saturday night.
For more information, visit APMFF.org.
Here is a schedule of events:
9 p.m.: “Do You Remember? 15 Years Of The Bouncing Souls” and “Salad Days” After-Party, with opening short “Asbury Lanes”
5:30 p.m.: VIP Welcome Reception (Invitation Only)
6:30 p.m.: “Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC 1980-1990” with opening short “Skrillex SuperJam Documentary”
9 p.m.: “DMC Squared” with live Q&A and performance by DMC and his son Dson.
7 p.m.: Robby Krieger of The Doors
8 p.m: “Soundtrack of Our Lives” concert with Creeptones, The Hive, Wyland and The Porchistas performing soundtrack music
1 p.m.: “Rye Coalition: The Story of the Hard Luck Five” plus After-Party and live performance with members of Rye Coalition
10 a.m.: “Led Zeppelin Played Here”
1 p.m.: “Todd Who?” and “Spent a Year There One Knite”
3:30 p.m.: Jersey Shore Rock N’ Roll Tales with Jean Mikle of the Asbury Park Press plus a new short about Asbury Park’s Upstage Club
6 p.m.: “A Band Called Death” plus Q&A with directors Jeff Howlett and Mark Covino
CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS
10 a.m.: “By and By: New Orleans Gospel at the Crossroads” plus Q&A with director Joe Compton
1 p.m.: “Sonny Rollins: Behind the Notes” plus Q&A with director Dick Fontaine
3:30 p.m.: NYC Filmmaker’s Block with music videos “Danny Johnson — Connect,” “Old Money — Mothership” and “Great Caesar — Don’t Ask Me Why” and short film “Buoyancy”
6 p.m.: “Life on the V: The Story of V66” plus Q&A with director Eric Green
10 a.m.: Music Video Selection: “Vanaka — Silver Girl (Featuring Oriana Sanders),” “Vanaka — Still Beautiful (Featuring J.R. Richards),” “J.R. Richards — Precious Stone,” “Bob Marsiglia — I’m a Changed Man,” “Alagoas — Brighton,” “The Secret City — Little Darling,” “The O>Matics — Horns” and “Joss Stone — The Love We Had”
1 p.m.: “Jam Sessions: Conversations With Local Musicians” and “Music in Mali: Life is Hard, Music is Good”
3:30 p.m.: “Cyro Baptista’s Banquet of the Spirits — Mumakata” plus Q&A with director Michael Lucio Sternbach and “Live From the Sun” with performance by Jon Francis
6 p.m.: “Heartworn Highways Revisited” plus Q&A with director Wayne Price
1 p.m.: “Directing Music Videos and Concert Films” Q&A with Adam Dubin and Casey Tebo
3:30 p.m.: “Take Me to the River” plus Q&A with director Martin Shore and others
8:30 p.m.: “Jaco” plus Q&A with co-producer Robert Trujillo
10 a.m.: “Booze Boys & Brownies”
1 p.m.: Music vidoes featuring George Perris, Dana Marie, Stringbean & The Stalkers, The Brigantines, Seaside Caves, The Battery Electric, Homeless Apians and Quincy Mumford & The Reason Why”
3:30 p.m.: “Calm Before the Storm”
6 p.m.: “The Last Playlist” with performance by Mason Reed
10 a.m.: Animated short “Bird Doggin’!” and documentaries “La vie selon Morgue” and “Yorkville”
1 p.m.: “Destiny’s Bridge” plus Q&A with director Steve Brigham and “The Voice: A Song for Tent City” music video plus performance by Lisa Ferrara, Nadirah Lawrence, Debbie & Paul Gangemi and Rosemary Conte.
3:30 p.m.: “What’s Your Thing” PSA; “Music Heals Teaser” documentary with performance by Jody Joseph and Students; “Taylor Tote — Superman” music video with acoustic performance; “Lakehouse Student Spotlight — Zakya Kennedy” PSA with performance by Lakehouse Junior Pros
6 p.m.: “A Chance Meeting” short film; “The Runaway” music video with performance by Tyler Seton; “Unsaid” music video with performance by The New Day
10 a.m.: “Unforgettable Fire: The Story of a U2 Tribute Band” plus Q&A with director Michelle Regina
THE STONE PONY
9 p.m.: “Jaco” After Party plus “Funk That Bass!” jam with Bernie Worrell, Dean Ween, Bernard Fowler, Corey Glover, William Bell, Nicole Atkins, Melvin Gibbs, Jack Daley, TM Stevens and others
10 a.m.: “Screenwriting Basics: Tell Your Story Before You Can Sell Your Story” with screenwriter/producer Ed Ferrara
10:30 p.m.: Led Zeppelin tribute featuring the Matt O’Ree Band
1 p.m.: “Riot on the Dance Floor: The Story of Randy Now and City Gardens” and plus After Party with performances by The Wait and Death in the Arena
11 a.m.: Awards Ceremony & Brunch at Anchor’s Bend
1 p.m.: Short films by Danny Clinch including Bruce Springsteen’s “Devils and Dust,” Pearl Jam’s “Lightning Bolt” and Phish’s “Specimen of Beauty” plus Q&A with Clinch and writer-producer Tim Donnelly
3:30 p.m.: “Made in Japan”
10 a.m.: “Starting Strong: Your Screenplay’s Crucial First Act (and Other Problem Areas)” with screenwriter/producer Ed Ferrara
We need your help!
CONTRIBUTE TO NJARTS.NET
Since launching in September 2014, NJArts.net, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to NJArts.net via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to NJArts.net to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.