Reuben Atlas previously worked at Legal Aid, a maximum security prison, and as an entertainment lawyer before he started making films. This year he brings “Brothers Hypnotic” to the festival.
What it’s about: Eight brothers, extraordinary musicians from Chicago’s roughest
neighborhood, seek to uphold the legacy of their anti-establishment,
jazz legend father in the face of worldwide success.
On the challenges:
“Balancing the number of characters. Telling a story about eight
brothers is tough enough, but adding to the mix their father, whose
history is the history of Chicago music, and their super-dynamic
mothers, was a big challenge. When celebrities like Prince, Mos Def, Damon Albarn (Blur, Gorillaz),
and Sun Ra showed up in the story, we had to make them footnotes!”
What’s next: “I’m directing with Sam Pollard a Sundance Institute and IDA
supported documentary about the community-organizing group, ACORN, and
finishing a short documentary about Karim Noack, who was my friend and
dance teacher, before she passed away after a 16-year cancer battle. I’m also writing a fiction film about Rockaway Beach, NY, where my family is from.”
Indiewire invited Rooftop Films 2013 Summer Series directors
to tell us about their films, including the challenges they faced and
what they’re doing next. Go HERE for all the profiles.