June 5, 2014 – The World Premiere of LOVE LOST & FOUND: THE STORY OF MEL BROWN
GRFF is thrilled to be co-presenting this exciting new locally-made documentary with the Kitchener Blues Festival and Princess Cinemas. We asked the director of the film, Sean Jasmins, some questions to keep our growing curiosity at bay.
1. What fascinates you the most about Mel Brown? And why him?
Born in Mississippi in 1939, Brown was a blues guitarist second to none. He toured the world and recorded with top artists of his time, including Willie Nelson, BB King, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland, and many more.
Mel Brown could have settled anywhere in the world, and he chose to make Kitchener, Ontario, Canada his home for the last 20 years of his life. This decision had impact on our community. His presence lead to the birth and growth of the Kitchener Blues Festival. This festival has grown to become one of the largest free blues festivals in Canada that draws over 100,000 people every year. Mel also mentored many local musicians including Juno Award winners Steve Strongman and Jullian Fauth and blues players like Shawn Kellerman and Ian Taylor. This is the story of how a man and his guitar changed our community.
2. Why do you feel that film was the best medium to share his story? What advantages does it have over others?
Film is a wonderful storytelling medium that was ideal for this project because it allowed us to showcase some of Mel’s live performances while telling his story through interviews with many people who were impacted by his presence in their lives.
3. What was the biggest challenge you encountered on set and how did you go about solving it?
I guess the biggest challenges in telling Mel’s story was the fact that the film was produced after his death and we only had access to footage of one interview with Mel. With that being said, this challenge actually became an opportunity as it forced us to create a story arc that builds and builds to the interview. When we get to the point in the film where Mel is speaking it is mesmerizing.
4. Is there a specific moment in the film you’re most excited for the Waterloo Region audience to see?
I’m excited to share the concert footage we sourced of Mel performing. He was a gifted musician and guitar player and these performances showcase that.
5. What advice would you give an emerging or independent filmmaker who would like to capture an idol’s story?
My advice would be that if you have a story to tell… then tell it. Dive in and start. This documentary is a true indie film in every sense of the word. It was shot on a shoestring budget and edited in my basement on a laptop. Technology has put filmmaking tools into the hands of everyone. You don’t require a huge budget. If you have a great story to tell and some creativity… anything is possible. Just do it.
Additional screenings have been added at the following venues:
★ June 21 & 22 – Stratford Blues Festival, Bentleys, Stratford
★ July 15 & 16 – Princess Cinemas, Waterloo