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Dixie Chicks Documentary To Have International Premiere

Thursday, October 5----A documentary co-directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple on the controversial country-and-western group The Dixie Chicks, will have its International Premiere at the Turks & Caicos International Film Festival, a unique event that fuses film and music. The Festival opens on October 17 on the beautiful Caribbean island archipelago of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

DIXIE CHICKS: SHUT UP AND SING, co-directed by Barbara Kopple and Cecilia Peck, follows the Dixie Chicks on tour, from the peak of their popularity as country music superstars chosen to sing the National Anthem at the 2003 Super Bowl, through the now infamous anti-Bush comment made by the group’s lead singer Natalie Maines at a London concert, to their present-day renaissance as the queens of country music.

The film revolves around the aftermath of singer Natalie Maines' statement at a 2003 London concert, where she said, "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." It chronicles death threats, political attacks and radio boycotts against the band, but ultimately shows their perseverance as they continued to live their lives, have children and, of course, make music.

The politically charged documentary was recently picked up for worldwide distribution by The Weinstein Company, the post-Miramax Films distribution venture of the Weinstein Brothers. The film, which had its world premiere at last month's Toronto Film Festival, is scheduled to open theatrically in late October, right before the November elections. The timing of the release could make the film a political hot potato as well as potential ammo should longtime Democratic party supporter Harvey Weinstein become involved in the fall political campaigns.

The film is making the rounds of the Festival circuit, including much lauded stops in San Sebastian and Aspen, with screenings at this month's Woodstock and London film festivals.

While focusing on the damage created by the anti-Bush remark, the film also charts the band's desire to break out of the restrictions of the country-and-western mode by recording their newest album in Los Angeles, with unfamiliar collaborators and musicians from the rock world. In revealing sessions Docu opens in the studio in 2005, a scene that will be revisited several times. It becomes a beacon of change for the Dixie Chicks as they work in the uncomfortable environs of Los Angeles and with unfamiliar collaborators and musicians from the rock world.

Many scenes showcase the music sessions in the recording studio, where the group is determined to make music that suits their own creative sensibilities rather than the restrictions of country radio. The first single from their latest album, entitled "Taking the Long Way," subsequently debuted at No. 1, sold 1 million copies in three weeks and is exposing their music to a new non-country audience.

Barbara Kopple is a veteran documentarian and one of the most respected filmmakers of her generation, have twice won the Academy Award for the landmark HARLAN COUNTY U.S.A. (1976) and AMERICAN DREAM (1991). Cecilia Peck is the actress daughter of acting legend Gregory Peck, whose previous producer credit was for A CONVERSATION WITH GREGORY PECK (1999).

Barbara Kopple

Sandy Mandelberger
Festivals Editor


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About turksandcaicosff

Online Dailies coverage of the 3rd Turks and Caicos International Film Festival, October 16 to 21, 2007

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