“Under The Volcano” Selected To Make World Premiere At SXSW

Brades, Montserrat – March 9, 2021 – Australian feature documentary, Under The Volcano, has been selected to make its world premiere at South by Southwest (SXSW), which is being held March 16 – 20, 2021. “This is truly an exciting time for the destination and people of Monserrat,” noted Warren Solomon, Director of Tourism for the Montserrat Tourism Division. “Being able to showcase how a small island in the Caribbean, with a larger-than-life impact, influenced and shaped the music industry on a global scale, is a proud moment for us all and one we are happy to see brought back into focus after so many years.” The film is directed by Gracie Otto and produced by Cody Greenwood of Rush Films.

Under the Volcano charts the rise and fall of AIR Studios Montserrat, the recording studio at the centre of the pop universe in the 1980s. Built by Beatles’ producer Sir George Martin in 1979, AIR Studios Montserrat was a custom-built, state-of-the-art recording facility tucked away on a Caribbean paradise. In the shadow of an active volcano, the studio not only attracted the biggest musical talent on the planet, but was the birthplace of mega-hits such as that defined the sound of the 80s. For a decade, AIR Montserrat formed the backdrop to monumental events in music history including the break-up of The Police, the reunion of The Rolling Stones, and the reinvigoration of Paul McCartney after the tragic murder of John Lennon. After a decade of hits, and at the peak of its popularity, the studio was destroyed when the island was hit by a series of devastating natural disasters.

Cody Greenwood – ‘We are thrilled to be included alongside a stellar line-up of local and international films at SXSW. The festival is universally recognized for its music documentaries, so to have Under The Volcano premiere at this festival is a huge honour. Our whole team worked tremendously hard to pull the film together and I can’t wait for it to be shared with audiences’. The documentary is a celebration of the creative process, and tells the story of the world’s most iconic recording artists including The Police, Paul McCartney, Duran Duran, The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Earth Wind and Fire and Dire Straits. The film features interviews from the likes of Sting and Mark Knopfler, as well as personal archive from artists such as Sir Paul McCartney and Stewart Copeland.

Like many other festivals, SXSW is moving digital this year and will take place March 16 – 20, 2021. Featuring provocative dramas and documentaries, the SXSW Film Festival has become known for the high calibre and diversity of films presented.

SXSW is universally recognized for its music festival so it’s not a surprise that the film program each year showcases films that pay homage to musicians. There’s an entire category dedicated to these films called ’24 Beats Per Second’ and Under The Volcano will be playing as part of this section of the festival.

Featured speakers for the SXSW 2021 line-up include Sir Richard Branson, Matthew McConaughey, Nicholas Britell, Dave Burd (aka Lil Dicky), The Chainsmokers, Samantha Bee, Chiquis, Laurieann Gibson, Taraji P. Henson, Barry Jenkins, Queen Latifah and LL COOL J.

Gracie Otto – ‘I’ve always been fascinated by the inner workings of creative artists and the artistic process. Even more so whilst researching and interviewing some of the greatest recording artists of our time for this film. Collectively they have created an unprecedented body of work behind the closed doors of AIR Studios and documenting this process was a pure joy. The significance of AIR Studios and its isolation feels even more timely given the current state of the world. We are so excited to share this film with audiences during SXSW.’

Screen Australia CEO Graeme Mason said, “Under The Volcano has found a perfect stage at SXSW for its world premiere. Brought to the big screen by a standout Australian creative team, including director, Gracie Otto and producer, Cody Greenwood, Under The Volcano celebrates global hit-makers of the 1980s and the hits that continue to be enjoyed and inspire audiences today.”

Under The Volcano is a Rush Films production. Principal production funding from Screen Australia, in association with Screenwest. Financed with support from Screen NSW.

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