Palm Pictures Croons to “Tom Dowd & the Language of Music”
by Brian Brooks
Acclaimed documentary “Tom Dowd & the Language of Music” has been acquired by Palm Pictures, the New York-based distributor announced Friday. Palm, which received North American and Caribbean rights to the film, will release the doc directed by Mark Moormann later this year in a limited theatrical release, following the film’s world premiere on Sundance Channel on Friday, October 3rd as part its month-long music series, Sonic Cinema.
“Tom Dowd & the Language of Music” profiles the work of producer/recording engineer Tom Dowd whose “personal history reflects the evolution of modern music and recording technology,” according to a Palm announcement. Music industry insiders tell the story of Dowd through interviews as historical footage, photographs and classic music tracks bring the audience into the recording studio.
Recording artists Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, The Allman Brothers Band, Lynard Skynyrd, Les Paul, Aretha Franklin, Joe Bonamassa, Ahmet Ertegun, Jerry Wexler and Phil Ramone are some of the personalities that appear in the film. In the studio itself, Dowd discusses the recording sessions and technical advances that have changed contemporary music. The film screened earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival as well as South by Southwest (SXSW) and received an audience award for best documentary at the Nashville Film Festival.
Negotiating the deal on behalf of Palm was founder Chris Blackwell, head of acquisitions & production David Koh, and Mark Ragone, Palm’s head of business affairs, film & video. Jonathan Dana, Jeff Dowd and attorney Mark Litwak represented Moormann, while Sundance Channel’s Larry Greenberg, director of acquisitions for both Showtime and Sundance Channel, represented the network.
“Palm Pictures is very proud to work with Mark Moormann and to release ‘Tom Dowd,'” commented Koh in a release. “We want to continue our tradition of releasing great music documentaries and be the label to go to distribute them. It is rare to find a film made with such warmth, and it will be a film that anyone with even the most fleeting interest in music will find hard to resist.”
Current Palm releases include Claude Berri’s romantic comedy “The Housekeeper,” thriller “The Eye” by the Pang Brothers, and artist Matthew Barney’s “Cremaster Cycle.” Upcoming Palm films include Claude Chabrol’s thriller “Flower of Evil,” Dagur Kari’s debut “Noi Albinoi,” Sundance jury prize winning doc “How to Draw a Bunny” by John Walter, Olivier Assayas’ thriller “demonlover,” Tian Zhuangzhuang’s Venice-winner “Springtime in a Small Town,” and Helen Stickler’s skate doc, “Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator.” Palm will release “Tom Dowd” on DVD in early 2004.
[DISCLOSURE: indieWIRE Managing Member and Co-Founder Karol Martesko-Fenster is part of the executive management team of Palm Pictures.]