Directors Jeff Howlett and Mark Covino both attended film school in Burlington, Vermont and met around 2007 at a local music video shoot. Howlett started off in 1993 as a musician and songwriter for the bands Five Seconds Expired and Non Compos, but maintained an interest in filmmaking until his enrollment in film school more than a decade later. Since graduating in 2006, Covino has been very active in the Vermont filmmaking community, working on documentaries for PBS, a pilot produced for ESPN2 and the Black Panther documentary, "What We Want, What We Believe."
Their new collaboration, "A Band Called Death" is screening in the documentary competition at this year's LAFF.
What it's about: Equal parts electrifying rockumentary and epic family chronicle, the story of Death is one of brotherly love and fierce, divinely inspired expression.
Co-Director Covino says: "We would like the audience to know that this film was a true labor of love and passion that many of our crew members and family members put aside paying gigs and obligations to see this project through to the end. We would also like people to know that in the end it is all about family and the power of the family unit through music."
On the challenges: "The biggest challenge I think for all of us was being spread out in multiple states and locations throughout the production."
What would you like LAFF audiences to come away with after seeing your film? "We would love the audience to discover a lost musical treasure that has been locked away for 35 years and brought back to life."
The film's inspirations: "'The Last Waltz', 'Gimme Shelter' and 'Stop Making Sense.'"
What would you like to get out of your LAFF experience? "We would love to meet our peers and get inspired for our next projects, it would be a big bonus to be picked up for distribution."
Future projects: "Mark looks forward to wrapping up his other feature length documentary, also a music doc, and is currently fleshing out a few narrative and short feature length films that are in preproduction. Jeff is actively searching for the next documentary subject to produce."
Indiewire invited LAFF competition directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they're doing next. We'll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2012 festival. Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch for the latest profiles.