This is the story of the oldest band in the world and their greatest adventure yet.
Aged between 65 and 87, they come from Shanghai and they have been performing together every night since 1980. Each of the musicians has been playing jazz since the 1940's. They have seen off the Japanese occupation, the Nationalists, not to mention the Communists and their Cultural Revolution. Then came the opening up of Chinese society and, finally, turbo capitalism - Chinese style. And throughout it all, the band played on. Jazz stands for individuality, creativity and spontaneity, in a way that no other musical style does. In China these qualities were regarded with suspicion for many years. Against all odds, these legendary jazz granddaddies never lost their love of music. They kept it alive and it, in turn, kept them alive.
But one big challenge remains. This film follows the band as they leave China to win the hearts of the audience at the world's biggest indoor jazz festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival in Rotterdam…
We have finished principal photography on the film. The film was shot over a period of almost one year from June 2011 until April 2012.
We are currently in the process of editing.
We expect the editing to be finished by October 2012, so a launch in early 2013 is a very realistic goal, meaning you will see the results of your support very soon.
The beauty of documentary filmmaking is the opportunity it affords us to dip into real life with both feet. This entails taking risks that are sometimes hard to foresee – just like real life.
In our case, we did make budgetary provisions for music rights, but ultimately have had to deal with Chinese musicians humming Elvis tunes and improvising American big band classics to a much wider extent than we expected. These scenes are often beautiful and touching and we would love to keep them in the film. This will only be possible if we acquire the full musical rights.
Should we exceed our funding goal, we will donate 10% of that money to the music school which Mr. Zhang - the pianist in the Peace Old Jazz Band- runs. We are also keen to make the film available to the widest possible audience. Exceeding our funding goal will help us to produce a 35mm negative and prints, something which is still necessary to ensure that the film can be screened in countries with less developed digital cinema environments.
We might additionally spend a few bucks on an English language course for Uli and an acting class for Helge to produce an even classier Kickstarter Video next time...
It's really easy to support a Kickstarter project. Choose the reward you would like to receive and follow the instructions. If we reach our funding target the reward is yours. All shipping costs are included.
Our extra-special-once-in-a-lifetime-reward is a private performance of the Peace Hotel Old Jazz Band exclusively for you and your friends in Shanghai which includes a dinner for you with the band. This might be a great reward for corporations with branches in Shanghai. Invite all your clients and customers.(Food and beverages in the hotel are not included.) Due to the seniority of some band members, it is possible that some positions in the band may not be filled by the band members who are seen in the film.
As an immediate Thank-you gesture, everybody who supports our project can receive a Fortune Cookie. We have prepared seven Cookies for you of which each contains a short video clip that is only available through this platform. We picked our favorite clips, to give you a better idea of the material we have
Uli Gaulke, Director
Born 1968 in Schwerin, East Germany (GDR), has made four feature documentaries and numerous TV works.
He is best known for his film HAVANNA, MI AMOR (which won the German Film Award for Best Documentary in 2002) which tells the story of a tragic triangle of people with broken down TV sets, broken hearts and a new telenovela just about to start. Shot in Havana, the film became a festival darling and box office success in Germany and other territories. In the US, the film was distributed by 7th Arts Releasing.
Uli also directed COMRADES IN DREAMS (which was presented at the Berlinale, Pusan and Sundance in 2007) about an ensemble of film projectionists in different countries such as the U.S. (Wyoming), Burkina Faso, India and North Korea. In the US, the film was shown on the Sundance Channel and is represented by Films Transit.
Helge Albers, Producer
Co-Founder of Flying Moon Filmproduktion. Since 1999 Helge has produced and co-produced more than 20 feature films and feature documentaries. He produced all of Uli Gaulke’s theatrical films and this is their 5th collaboration. Furthermore he produced the most successful documentary in German cinemas in 2007 with 1,4 Mio USD box office: "Full Metal Village" (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Full-Metal-Village/105749779458654?ref=ts&sk=info) by Korean filmmaker Sung-Hyung Cho about the German village of Wacken which annually hosts the biggest heavy metal festival in the world. He also produced SILENT WATERS by Sabiha Sumar which won 14 international awards including the Golden Leopard in Locarno and he co-produced SUMMER PALACE by Lou Ye, which premiered in Competition in Cannes in 2006. More recently he produced the new film by Julia Loktev THE LONELIEST PLANET, starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Hani Furstenberg. The film is a co-production with NY based Parts & Labor and will be released in the 2nd half of 2012 by IFC/Sundance Selects.
JuRi Film, Production Partner
1996 JuRiFilm, Inc. provides services in the TV and Motion Picture Industry in
Southern California. The company offers HD and
SD Video and Film Crews as well as camera equipment rentals and line-producing services.
We cater to foreign and domestic film or television productions, independent or documentary filmmakers as well as commercial productions and corporate clients. Our two offices are located in Los Angeles (just between Marina del Rey and Culver City), California and Berlin, Germany.
Ari Benjamin Meyers, Composer
Based in Berlin, Ari is an American classical composer and conductor working in the experimental/ electronic/ new music scene in Germany. While primarily known for his work with the ground breaking dance club-orchestral mash-up, Redux Orchestra, he has also worked with many other artists most notably Einstürzende Neubauten. Other collaborators include Dominique Gonzalez Foaerster, Anri Sala, Tino Sehgal, La Fura dels Baus, The Residents, raumlabor.berlin, Ricardo Villalobos, Staatsoper Dresden, Staatskapelle Berlin, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum New York, Morton Subotnick and The Orb.
Just as with his previous work on Uli Gaulke's "Pink Taxi", Ari's music will add a new layer to the film and support its tonality. So the jazz remains the preserve of the band whilst the score keeps the film in the present time and prevents us from drifting into nostalgia.
Sure. Nice idea. Think of all the people you know who love jazz or simply love to watch documentaries! If you would like to support the film but give the reward to someone as a gift, simply go through the normal process of pledging in your name. For billing purposes, this action must be in your name. After our deadline, we will send a message to you on Kickstarter. (It will be forwarded to the email address you provided) Please reply, including all the details of the person you'd like to receive the reward. We will then make sure they receive it!
- (33 days)