Coney Island Film Festival

Sunday, September 28, 2008 - 12:30pm
Coney Island Museum, 1208 Surf Ave. 2nd floor

Advance sale has ended for this program. Purchase tickets at the venue. Coney Island USA Gift Shop/Box Office, 1208 Surf Ave. Tickets are $6 (cash only). 718-372-5159

Light Switch
Clarissa Ysel, Austin Tx. USA. Music Video, 2:26

World Premiere!

'Light Switch' by Southern Drama is a music video cut from 16mm carnival footage that was originally shot for the short film with the same name. This music video illustrates a little girl's dream about a trip to the carnival. Both the short film and the music video were directed by Southern Drama frontwoman Clarissa Ysel.

Rock N Roll King of the Southwest: The Bobby Fuller Story
Nick Carroll , Bloomingdale NJ, USA. Documentary Short, 6:37

World Premiere!

This project is a short piece on the life and music of Bobby Fuller who died mysteriously in 1966 after a 5 year music career. It serves not only to illustrate his life, but to recognize the determination and talent he had to make it in the music industry on his own terms.

Airplay: The Rise and Fall of Rock & Roll Radio
Carolyn Travis, Chris Fox Gilson, Golden Beach Fl, USA. Documentary Feature, 110 minutes.

New York Premiere!

For 50 years, it was our revolutionary medium. Radio had the power to move people then. And deejays seized it. In the 1950s, a handful of AM pioneers introduced white America to black rhythm and blues. Then New York deejay Alan Freed changed the course of American history by branding it “rock and roll.” In the glory years of rock radio, personalities like Cousin Brucie, Murray the K, Dan Ingram, Jerry Blavat, Dick Biondi, Casey Kasem and Wolfman Jack ruled the airwaves.

But from its earliest roots, rock radio had powerful enemies. In 1960, prodded by big-business interests, Congress held “payola” hearings to target the deejays guilty of breaking down economic and racial barriers. Deejays like Alan Freed were booted off the air. Program director and radio consultants took control. Deejays could no longer play their own music. Rock radio became bland and predictable.

Then came a new wave of deejays who set up shop on the FM dial. “Top 40 is dead,” Declared Tom Donahue in San Francisco. “And its rotting corpse is stinking up the airwaves.” They discovered bands like the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane, igniting a cultural revolution that helped end the Vietnam War. Until FM, too, was silenced by FCC intimidation and corporate greed. And 60s rock became 70s disco.

When rock radio lost its soul, a flame went out. “Airplay” pays tribute to those unsung heroes—and the promise of a rebirth on satellite radio. It’s a story of love and war, told by the deejays and the artists they made rock stars. It celebrates a time when we all listened together and it changed our lives.

Watch the trailer


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