Film Fest programming announced for Canadian Music Week

Canadian Music Films

The programming for the 7th annual Canadian Music Week Film Fest has been announced. The festival will run from May 8th to 10th at Toronto’s The Royal Cinema and will showcase a mix of premieres, special screenings, retro rarities and limited engagements. The particular focus this year is to pay homage to musical legends and their long-lasting influence on music and culture.

Here are a few of the films that will be screening during the festival:


Opening Film – International Premiere. Director: Alex Gibney. Country: USA
Official Selection: Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival

Finding Fela tells the story of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s life, his music, his social and political importance. He created a new musical movement, Afrobeat, using that forum to express his revolutionary political opinions against the dictatorial Nigerian government of the1970s and 1980s. His influence helped bring a change towards democracy in Nigeria and promoted Pan Africanist politics to the world. The power and potency of Fela’s message is completely current today and is expressed in the political movements of oppressed people, embracing Fela’s music and message in their struggle for freedom.


Sneak Preview. Writer/Director: John Ridley. Country: UK/Ireland
Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival.

OutKast’s André Benjamin stars as Jimi Hendrix in this revealing biopic from Academy Award winner, John Ridley (12 Years a Slave). Covering a year in Hendrix’s life from 1966-67 as an unknown backup guitarist playing New York’s Cheetah Club to making his mark in London’s music scene up until his Monterey Pop triumph, the film presents an intimate portrait of the sensitive young musician on the verge of becoming a rock legend.


Toronto Premiere. Director: Lenny Abrahamson. Country: UK
Official Selection: Sundance Film Festival, SXSW Film Festival, Calgary Underground Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival

An offbeat comedy about a young wannabe musician, Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), who finds himself out of his depth when he joins an avant-garde pop band led by the mysterious and enigmatic Frank (Michael Fassbender), a musical genius who hides himself inside a large fake head, and his terrifying bandmate Clara (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Written by Jon Ronson (The Men Who Stare At Goats) and Peter Straughan (Tinker Tailor Soldier SpyThe Men Who Stare At Goats), Frank is based on the memoir by Jon Ronson. It is a fictional story loosely inspired by Frank Sidebottom, the persona of cult musician and comedy legend Chris Sievey, as well as other outsider musicians like Daniel Johnston and Captain Beefheart.


Canadian Premiere. Director: Danny Garcia. Country: UK/Spain.

With the New York Dolls, his band the Heartbreakers, and solo, Johnny Thunders helped define punk rock with his raw, untamed guitar playing—and his raw, untamed lifestyle, which led to his death from an overdose at the age of 38.

For the full lineup, have a look at the official website for the festival here.

The Canadian Music Week Film Fest will run from May 8th to 10th this year and The Iris will be there to bring you exclusive coverage!


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