Friday, May 20, 2016

"Song Of Lahore": Critically Acclaimed Documentary By Carroll Gardens Filmmaker Released in Theaters Today

Andy Schocken and Wynton Marsalis during filming
photo credit: Wasif Arshad
Filmmaker and cinematographer Andy Schocken in Carroll Gardens

This week-end, Carroll Gardens filmmaker and cinematographer Andy Schocken will be celebrating the theatrical release of his documentary Song of Lahore, which he co-directed with Pakistani journalist, filmmaker and activist Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.

'Song Of Lahore' tells the story of Izzat Majeed, who founded Sachel Studio in 2004, to help keep his country's once rich musical heritage alive despite Pakistan's Islamization,  and political unrest.
In an increasingly conservative culture where music is deemed sinful and where there are few opportunities for musicians to perform, Majeed encourages a group of classically-trained musicians to once again pick up their instruments and to form an orchestra.

The musicians recorded several classical and  traditional folk albums before Majeed, who had heard Dave Brubeck  perform in Pakistan in 1958 as part of a Jazz Diplomacy Tour sponsored by the US State Department, convinced the Sachel Studio Orchestra to record a version of  "Take Five".
A video of the orchestra playing this jazz classic on their traditional instruments spread quickly and garnered international attention when it was shown on BBC One.  This led to an invitation by Wynton Marsalis to come to New York, and after a week of rehearsal the Sachel Studio Orchestra found themselves performing with Marsalis at Jazz at Lincoln Center
The film follows the musicians on this remarkable journey from Lahore to the international stage.  

'Song Of Lahore'  has been shown to critical acclaim at film festivals around the world.  It will be released in theaters in New York and Los Angeles today.

Here in New York, it will be shown at Village East Cinema. Tickets are available here.
Schocken and  Obaid-Chinoy will both be attending a question and answer session tonight following the 7:25 pm show.

Universal Music will also be releasing a companion album to Song of Lahore, featuring Sachal Studios collaborating with Western recording artists like Wynton Marsalis,  Sean Lennon, Nels Cline (Wilco) and Jim James (My Morning Jacket). The album is available for presale on Amazon.

I would like to thank Andy Schocken for taking time to meet with PMFA to talk about his remarkable film.  I hope everyone will go see it this week-end. 


Anonymous said...

Used to be our neighborhood was filled with hard working families. Dock workers, sanitation, PD... Now we got filmmakers and writers who drink cocktails instead of beer. Times do change.

Anonymous said...

I saw this film at the Tribeca Film Festival and it was wonderful. I'm proud to have Andy as my neighbor.

chance bliss said...

i take issue with the comment about the filmmakers and writers. plenty of them drink beer! and some of them are even hard-working, hailing from working class backgrounds. i haven't met any in this neighborhood who turn their nose up at the generations before them.

Gowanee said...

Hear, hear Chance Bliss. And film makers and writers may also like being around dock workers, sanitation, etc. because often they are great storytellers and interesting as well. Artists in general, my experience, like being around working class people. They're working class, also.