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"Heaven Adores You" is an intimate and meditative look at the influence that Elliott Smith has had since his tragic passing in 2003.
By threading together musical performances of those influenced by the music of Elliott Smith, through the lush and often isolating images of the three major cites he lived in throughout his short life ( Portland, OR, New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA ), this film will go beyond your average "behind the music" documentary by offering a visual journey and an intimate look at the singer's prolific songwriting, and the impact that he had on his fans and other musicians today.
This project aims to be a celebration of Elliott Smith, his contributions to the music industry and exploration of his posthumous influence on the artistic endeavors of those within the global community..
THE BACK STORY:
I was living in Portland, OR between the years of 1994-1999. I fondly remember discovering Elliott's music and it's always been the soundtrack to my time in the Pacific Northwest. After his tragic death in Los Angeles in 2003, I found myself at the Solution's Wall in Silverlake, where a makeshift memorial was created. As a fan and a filmmaker, I recorded footage of the memorial and posted my video to YouTube. To this day I receive comments on the video from fans all over the world expressing their love for Elliott and their thanks for making a tribute video for him. To date the video has attracted nearly 750,000 views. There is a strong fan base for Elliott's music, even eight years after his death. His music is being discovered by fans who haven't heard of him until now.
In 2008, due to overwhelming positive feedback on the video on YouTube, I decided to embark on a more in depth project on Elliott Smith. I've aligned myself with some great industry professionals and found many talented supporters along the way. Now, I'm asking for your help, too.
My goal is to raise the funds for a project on the music and influence of Elliott Smith. Through this process I have acquired some resources and even helped fund the project to get a short trailer completed for purposes of fundraising.
But, I know we can do better.
REMEMBER, IF WE ARE UNABLE TO MEET OUR GOAL BY THE 13TH OF DECEMBER, YOU ARE NOT CHARGED. UNFORTUNATELY THAT MEANS THAT WE DON'T RECEIVE A DIME OF WHAT WE HAVE ALREADY RAISED, SO IT'S CRUCIAL THAT WE MEET OUR GOAL!
To do this, I'm reaching out to those who have been touched by Elliott's music. Our goal is to have this film completed for the 10 year anniversary of Elliott Smith's death in 2013.
NICKOLAS ROSSI • Director / Producer / Cinematographer
Nickolas Rossi was born in Chicago, Illinois. He attended Columbia College Chicago for fine art photography and graduated from Portland State University with a B.Sc in Sociology. Following university he lived and worked in Montréal, London, Prague and Los Angeles.
As a young adult Nickolas was employed as a counselor for at-risk, runaway and homeless youth in Portland, Oregon. His experiences as a social worker continue to motivate him in regards to the projects he chooses. He has also worked extensively nurturing young filmmakers by teaching documentary filmmaking for Film Action Oregon.
His feature narrative credits include the recent noir thriller, "New Terminal Hotel" with Stephen Geoffreys ("Fright Night"), and Corey Haim ("Lost Boys"), and "Breath of Hate" with Jason Mewes ("Clerks") and Ezra Buzzington ("The Hills Have Eyes"). His documentary film work includes the award winning "Incest: A Family Tragedy" and "Adjust Your Color: The Truth of Petey Greene". His most recent documentary project is with Academy Award® nominated producer / director Marc Smolowitz on his feature documentary, "The Power of Two".
As a cinematographer he has worked extensively across the United States & Canada, Asia, Europe and Mexico. His work has screened in numerous film festivals across the globe, as well as CNN, MTV/LOGO and Fuel TV. He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.
JT GURZI • Producer
JT Gurzi is an award-winning filmmaker, member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and founder of Blowback Pictures Ltd.
Gurzi received the coveted 2010 Panavision first time filmmaker grant package and support from the Eastman Kodak Company for his directorial debut ‘Heaven Strewn’. ‘Heaven Strewn’ premiered at the 2011 Ashland Independent Film Festival where it was nominated for Best Feature & Best Acting Ensemble. It was most recently nominated at the 2011 Maverick Movie Awards for Best Screenplay, Best Actor & Best Soundtrack. ‘Heaven Strewn’ is currently screening in festivals nationwide and is represented by Circus Road Films for the procurement of domestic distribution.
Gurzi has had additional endeavors screen at the Slamdance Film Festival, The Architecture and Design Museum of Los Angeles and on FUEL TV. His below-the-line motion picture industry experience includes ‘Spider-Man 3’, ‘Me and You and Everyone We Know’ and HBO's ‘Six Feet Under’, ‘Big Love’ & ‘Entourage’. Gurzi has also directed commercial work for numerous clients and music videos for Cinematic Orchestra & Patrick Park. He most recently produced the short film ‘The Story of Jerry and the Dog’ for director/producer Eric Watson (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain).
KEVIN BARKER • Consulting Producer / Editor
Born and raised in Virginia, Kevin has an extensive background in fine art and illustration. After receiving a scholarship to The Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia, Kevin shifted his focus from Sequential Art and graduated with a BFA in Film and Television.
After graduating SCAD in 2002, Kevin moved to Washington, D.C., where he has worked as an editor and post-production consultant at Henninger Media Services. His diverse customer list includes broadcast, documentary, corporate, advertising, non-profit and government clients. His work has aired on The National Geographic Channel, The Discovery Channel, TLC, ABC, Bravo, Spike TV, PBS, The Science Channel and The Outdoor Channel as well as screened at film festivals including Sundance, Cannes and South by Southwest.
Recently, Kevin has partnered with local filmmakers to produce and direct multiple music videos and documentaries for local independent musical artists such as King Giant, The Decks, Juniper Lane and The Rounders.