Jessica Edwards USA / 2015 / 81 minutes New York Premiere
Times and Venues:
Q&A Attendees *subject to change: Jessica Edwards
Calling singer/civil rights activist Mavis Staples a living legend is no overstatement. With roots in gospel and a visionary father who molded his family into the Staple Singers, we watch the group go from gospel performances at local churches during the 1960s and '70s to chart-topping mainstream hits. Skillfully combining archival material, new interviews and live performances, filmmaker Jessica Edwards hits all the high notes of the Staple Singers tenure. The movie continues to track the roller coaster of the artist's solo career, including such tender moments as Mavis's visit to the late Levon Helm at his Barn. Julian Bond, Bonnie Raitt, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy, and Bob Dylan are prominent among the friends, fellow musicians and civil rights veterans who pay homage to the documentary's star. But it is Mavis herself who performs most eloquently, especially after winning a 2011 Grammy for her album You Are Not Alone.Mavis! - both the woman and the film - richly deserve the exclamation point in the title.
-Woodstock Film Festival
BIO: Jessica Edwards has a broad background in the film industry as a director, producer and publicist. Her short documentary Seltzer Works, screened at SxSW, Hot Docs, Full Frame and many other festivals before airing on the documentary series POV on PBS. Her subsequent films, Tugs and The Landfill, screened at festivals worldwide. She is the editor of Tell Me Something, a book of advice from documentary filmmakers. Mavis!, her first feature documentary about gospel/soul legend Mavis Staples and the Staple Singers, will premiere on HBO in 2016.
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