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2015 Chicago International Movies and Music Festival (CIMMfest) Announced For April 16-19

CIMMfest announces its 7th annual four-day showcase of movies and music for April 16th-19th. This festival will contain several venues that will expand from the Milwaukee Avenue corridor - from Wicker Park to Logan Square -  to North Central, Lakeview, Hyde Park, and Pilsen.

About CIMMfest:

CIMMfest is a four-day showcase of films, concerts, VJ/DJ sets, live Q&A's, live score performances, industry panels and presentations, and anything that shows the combination of movies and music. CIMMfest takes place in Wicker Park and Logan Square, where movies will be shown by day and live music will be played at night either in theaters, galleries, bars, and concert spaces. Films come from several countries ranging from the US to Cambodia this year, and the music includes several acts from different genres. To find out more about CIMMfest, visit their website.

This year, Adam Montgomery, Senior Manager of Programming for Sundance Film Festival, will be joining as the festival's Director of Film Programming. Britain-based film journalist, Andy Markowitz, will join CIMMfest as well as Associate Film Programmer.

Live scoring programs have become a signature event for CIMMfest. This is where live bands and orchestras perform a film's music score live in front of the projected movie. This year's festival includes scoring from acclaimed composer, Marc Ribot, electronic band Chandeliers, Sara Ranganathan with New Millennium Orchestra and Sones de Mexico.

Films include:

808 (Alexander Dunn, USA, 94 min.):
A history of the Roland TR-808, a drum machine that helped shape '80s hip-hop, R&B, rock and pop music. The film features the likes of Pharrell Williams, Diplo, David Guetta, Phil Collins, Questlove, and Goldie to name a few. This movie will be shown with live scoring using the sounds of the TR-808.

Basically, Johnny Moped (Fred Burns, UK, 78 min.):
Johnny Moped was the band lead and named after Paul Halford. By 1977, this group was at the base of London's punk scene, but died out as success was not to come to them. This shows the fascinating story of their journey about punk's great lost band.

Billy Mize and The Bakersfield Sound (William J. Saunders, USA, 100 min.):
With his raw country style, Billy Mize was known for his down-to-earth lyrics and piercing guitar. His charm and voice are legendary in the country scene. In his prime, Billy was at the brink of stardom, only to turn it down to focus on his family. After a tragic event, Billy was forced to find solace in music again. At 59, Billy suffered a stroke, which took away his ability to sing and play guitar. After failed attempts at rehabilitation, Billy was admitted to an experimental facility in Florida where he miraculously re-gained the ability to sing. This documentary culminates with Billy Mize and The Bakersfield Sound performing for the first time in over 20 years.

Don't Think I've Forgetten: Cambodia's Last Rock and Roll (John Pirozzi, Cambodia, 105 min.):
In the '60s and '70, Cambodia saw a surge of Rock and Roll, taking Western Rock and Roll and integrating unique melodies and hypnotic rhythms of their traditional music, in the midst of the Vietnam war threatening its borders. After taking over the country in 1975, the Khmer Rouge wiped any traces of Western influences and ideas and got rid of artists and musicians, beginning one of the most brutal genocides in history. This film tracks the twists and turns of Cambodian music as it was integrated into Rock and Roll.

(In English and Cambodian with English subtitles)

Never Release My First (Shui-Bo Wang, China/Canada) WORLD PREMIERE
This documentary follows the life of punk-rockers in Wuhan, the heart of punk-rock in China in the late '90s. The film follows Wu Wei, lead singer of SMZB, a Chinese punk band famous for its strong voice against the country's political system, who grew up in the Chinese industrial city of 20 million people on the Yangtze River. The film also features Wu Wei's ex-wife, Hu Juan, the drummer, Zhang Hai, the lead singer of Play To Death, and Kang Mao, lead singer of SUBS.

Sam Lay in Bluesland (John Anderson, USA) WORLD PREMIERE
At 79, Sam Lay is known as "the greatest drummer of all time." The founding member of the groundbreaking Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Lay is recognized for his signature double-shuffle beat, and has played a key role in the evolution of Blues since the '60s. In this documentary, Lay tells of his life and career through the racially turbulent 1960s. Appearances are made throughout by James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite, Iggy Pop, and Corky Siegel to name a few.


Music includes (but are not limited to):

Sam Lay Sendoff Show:
CIMMfest will kick off with a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame send-off party for Sam Lay, Blues' most celebrated drummer. On April 18th, he will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. The event will be hosted by Grammy-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker John Anderson, and will include live performances with Sam Lay and a full set with Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials the weekend before CIMMfest 2015's opening night.

Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars:
Out of the ashes of war, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars have risen and spread their passion and uplifting songs of hope, faith, and joy across the globe. This band is a testament of the ability of the human spirit through the power of music. Originating from West African Refugee Camps, Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars are now one of Africa's top touring and recording bands.

Todd Snider:
Alternative-Country singer songwriter Todd Snider will be performing City Winery in conjunction with CIMMfest's showing of The First Waltz, the rock documentary about the formation of Hard Working Americans, his rock and roll group.

Other musical acts include: Rapper Chicks (Psalm One's new project), Digital Leather, Bad Bad Hats, The Cell Phones, Vivian McConnell, Mac Blackout, Twin Cousins, Santah, Thomas Benko, and Claudettes.

Early Bird 4-day festival passes are now available for $55 at CIMMfest.org.

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