NXNE Announces Film Spotlight: Don Letts

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North by Northeast (NXNE) has announced the first round of film programming for 2010. NXNE Film brings the best in music-centric films from documentary to drama, and screens 40 films from June 16-20 during NXNE around the city of Toronto.

NXNE Film curates a program featuring the recent work of Don Letts, the Grammy Award-winning British director. Letts brings his latest film Carnival! to NXNE for a North American premiere. The film tells the story of the Notting Hill Carnival which takes over the notable west London neighborhood every August. Carnival! presents a visual mosaic of color and music of the largest street festival in the world outside of Trinidad & Tobago.

Letts also screens his film Strummerville, which recently played at SXSW and has its Canadian premiere at NXNE. The film documents the work of the Strummerville charity which was set up to enable young musicians to get their art and music out to the world in the spirit and attitude of The Clash's Joe Strummer.

Over his long film career Letts has told the story of countless lives, and now it is time to hear his story in the North American premiere of Superstonic Sound: The Rebel Dread. Director Raphael Erichsen spotlights the Letts family legacy that mirrors the history of bass in the UK from dub, reggae and punk to '80s pop, hip-hop and dubstep.

Additional films confirmed to date include:

Circa 1977: The Diodes - D: Aldo Erdic (Short film)
[World Premiere] In the span of one year, the Diodes opened Toronto's first punk club, Crash 'n' Burn; released Canada's first punk album on a major label; and helped instigate an explosive punk scene. Interviews with John Catto, John Hamilton and Ian Mackay

Music Makes a City - D: Owsley Brown III & Jerome Hiler
[Canadian Premiere] In 1948, a small, struggling, semiprofessional orchestra in Louisville, Ky. began a daring project to commission new works from contemporary composers around the world. The Commissioning Project grew far beyond expectations. Featuring music by Aaron Copland, William Schuman, Roger Sessions, Elliott Carter, Joan Tower, Norman Dello Joio and Harold Shapero.

Thomas Pynchon A Journey into the Mind of... - D: Fosco Dubini
[North American premiere] A film about the cult author Thomas Pynchon (Gravity's Rainbow), who for 30 years has avoided public appearances, giving no interviews, and not even allowing himself to be photographed. Featuring the music of The Residents.

The North by Northeast (NXNE) festival experience takes over Toronto with the best new bands and international headliners, screenings of dynamic music films, compelling conference village sessions, rock 'n' roll keynotes and insights from the most forward-thinking interactive media innovators, and a charity soccer match. This year's festival runs from June 14-20, 2010. Visit NXNE online at www.nxne.com.