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Twenty Feet from Stardom


Best Documentary: SIFF 2013 Golden Space Needle Awards

USA | 2013 | 90 minutes | Morgan Neville

 A breakout audience favorite at Sundance, Twenty Feet from Stardom follows several gifted backup singers living in the shadows of superstardom. Their work charted the rise of the modern pop vocal sound from the gospel tradition to the more impassioned sounds of the turbulent '60s. Special guests Tata Vega and Merry Clayton will each perform a song following the movie (Centerpiece Gala screening only)!

June 1, 2013
SIFF Cinema Egyptian  
5:30 PM Date has passed

Centerpiece Gala

June 2, 2013
SIFF Cinema Egyptian  
4:00 PM Date has passed
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The June 2 screening is on STANDBY. There are no advance tickets available.

When you're singing along with the chorus of your favorite song, do you really know who you're singing with? Veteran filmmaker Morgan Neville does, and his new film tracks the astounding careers, contributions, and sacrifices of pop music's most recognizable yet least known artists—the backup singers. Twenty Feet from Stardom focuses primarily on four singers — Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, and Judith Hill — charting the rise of the modern pop vocal sound from its origins in the gospel tradition, through the demand for new, more impassioned sounds during the turbulent '60s, and into their declining options in the modern recording era. Over his prolific career, Neville has profiled musicians ranging from Johnny Cash to The Rolling Stones, and uses his connections to access a vault's worth of archival footage. Twenty Feet from Stardom boasts a wealth of celebrity interviews, including Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger, and others. But this time the superstars take a backseat to the backup singers, recalling some of these ladies' most legendary recording sessions. Trust us—you'll never hear "Gimme Shelter" the same way once you've seen Jagger and Clayton describe the night she sang that song.

Director Biography
Over the past 18 years, Morgan Neville has made films about many of the musicians who have helped shape 20th-century music. His film Troubadours, featuring James Taylor and Carole King, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Sponsored in part by New Belgium Brewing Company, Osteria La Spiga, EMP Museum, KEXP 90.3 FM

Director: Morgan Neville
Principal Cast: Lou Adler, Stevvi Alexander, Patti Austin, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer
Country: USA
Year: 2013
Running Time: 90 minutes
Producer: Gil Friesen, Caitrin Rogers
Cinematographers: Graham Willoughby, Nicola Marsh
Editors: Jason Zeldes, Kevin Klauber, Douglas Blush
Website: Film Website
Filmography: Troubadours (2011); Search and Destroy: Iggy & The Stooges’ Raw Power (2010); Johnny Cash’s America (2008); The Cool School (2008)
Language: English
Format: DCP
International Sales: Elle Driver
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