Rumble sweeps documentary honours at the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards

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Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World chronicles the forgotten history of Indigenous influence in American music by interviewing renowned artists, producers, writers and family members of icons. Produced by Rezolution Pictures and co-directed by Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana, the film took its name from the infamous 1958 instrumental hit by Shawnee musician Link Ray. It has already been honoured with a number of awards, notably at last year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Then, on March 11, Rumble rocked the three categories it was nominated in at the Canadian Screen Awards (CSA): Best Feature Length Documentary, Best Cinematography and Best Editing.

Notable interviewees like Tony Bennett, Dan Auerbach, Martin Scorsese and Buddy Guy cited the personal effect that Indian music has had on their own work. One of the most moving scenes in the film is Tuscarora musician Pura Fé singing with the women’s a cappella group Ulali and discussing the influence of Charley Patton, a Cherokee and African-American blues guitarist.

The film addresses the years of oppression against Native musicians and how industry norms began to wither away as Indigenous artists became activists. Buffy Sainte-Marie is among the notable influencers who paved the way for Indigenous pride in music.

For Lisa Roth, one of the producers of Rumble, her experience at the CSA came after a long and winding road. She saw her time at the ceremony as comparable to the Oscars or the César awards in France.

“It was an honour to be among the greatest talents in our field at the CSAs,” said Roth. “To know that these people are our peers and that they recognize what we are doing and what Rumble is saying as important – it’s nothing but amazing!”

Since its release, Rumble has received considerable recognition in the industry. The film won the Special Jury Award for Masterful Storytelling in the World Cinema Documentary category at the prestigious Sundance festival and walked away with the Audience Award at Hot Docs. As more viewers see it, people recognize the ground-breaking effect Rumble has on audiences worldwide.

Roth remembers fondly interviewing punk legend Iggy Pop for Rumble. Unfortunately, his scene didn’t make the final cut.

“Iggy is a walking encyclopaedia of music, and music history. He’s gracious, non-pretentious, smart and funny,” exclaimed Roth. “During our interview, he sang Link Wray’s song ‘Run Chicken Run’, and played air guitar – it’s an instrumental so he sang the guitar part too!”

The spirit among key members of the Rezolution team reached a peak at the the CSA ceremony.

“I have worked with the other producers – Ernest Webb, Catherine Bainbridge, Christina Fon and Linda Ludwick – for over 10 years, and all those years of friendship and comradery came together at this event.”

Excerpts of Rumble have even been screened in classrooms across the United States by the TeachRock organization – part of rock star’s Steven Van Zandt’s non-profit organization, The Rock and Roll Forever Foundation.

And, in addition to continuing to screen Rumble at festivals and cinemas, Rezolution intends to tour the film to Indigenous communities throughout North America. “We want this film to be seen by as many Indigenous people as possible,” said Roth.

TeachRock is currently adapting its program to fit into the Canadian educational system in BC with the First Nation School Association High School Social Studies.

“We hope that this will be a trend across other provinces and nations,” noted Roth.

In addition, Rezolution received a CSA nomination for its APTN program Mohawk Girls for Best Direction in a Comedy Program or Series.


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