USA | 2024 | 96 min. | Alison Tavel

Alison Tavel never knew her father, only stories of his genius. But when she finds his old synth prototype in her grandmother’s attic, she embarks on a journey to meet musicians affected by his invention. Winner of the 2024 SXSW Documentary Audience Award.

Director Alison Tavel scheduled to attend.

Audiences will get the chance to win prizes from our community partners at Easy Street Records (May 17) and MoPOP (May 18)!

“It’s bursting with heart, and genuinely moving in its improbable journey to close the distance between the dead and the living.”—Kimberley Jones, The Austin Chronicle

Surely you’ll never see a more poignant and touching documentary about…electronic music technology. Director Alison Tavel’s father Don, who died when she was only 10 weeks old, was something of a question mark during her childhood; family lore held that Don had “invented the synthesizer,” though the history books mentioned only the name Robert Moog. (His bright idea was to make the synth keyboard-driven, analogous in impact to adding a mouse to the PC.) Later, driven to dig deeper, Tavel found those books hadn’t told the whole tale. She discovered, literally in Grandma’s attic, the black box, dubbed the Resynator, Don had built. As a roadie for Grace Potter, Tavel had a bit of an in to the music biz, so starting there she set off to retrace his story. Jon Anderson of Yes, Peter Gabriel, even Paul McCartney had expressed early interest—but what went wrong? Find out as Tavel totes the prototype Resynator from one enthusiastic music geek to the next, even as far as Colombia, as she untangles two intertwining mysteries: the secret of her father’s invention and of her father himself.

—Gavin Borchert

  • Director: Alison Tavel
  • Principal Cast: Grace Potter, Peter Gabriel, Fred Armisen, Jon Anderson, Money Mark
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2024
  • Running Time: 96 min.
  • Producer: Jon Lullo, Brendan Walter, Kathryn Robson, Grace Potter, Sara Nesson, Christopher Noviello
  • Screenplay: Kathryn Robson
  • Cinematographers: Justin Key
  • Editors: Kathryn Robson, Chris Gibson
  • Music: Chris Ruggiero
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: SXSW 2024 (Audience Award)
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: English