Learn to Surf - LearnLocal.com

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Documentary Selection - Musicwood

January 27, 2013 by Ben Hyatt

SantaBarbarians had the opportunity to sit down with Maxine Trump, director of the documentary Musicwood which had its west coast premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on January 25th.

The Film

For hundreds of years guitars have been made the same way, but now, this could all change

Musicwood is an adventure-filled journey, a political thriller with music at its heart. It is a journey that follows an unusual band of world-renowned guitar-makers — Chris Martin, Bob Taylor and Dave Berryman of Gibson — to remote, foreboding and primeval Southeast Alaska. These guitar-makers are on a desperate mission: to negotiate with Native Americans and change the way a rare rain forest is logged before it’s too late for acoustic guitars.

The film begins with the startling revelation that Native American corporations are clear-cutting vast acres of primeval forest. They are logging the largest coastal temperate rainforest in the world and the largest reserve of old growth trees in the USA. If logging doesn’t change, the guitar will run out of Sitka Spruce in 10 years time.

These Native Americans who’ve notoriously been given a raw deal from the US government are distrustful of the white man telling them what to do. Enter Greenpeace, a radical environmental group, and soon all are battling over a forest that is the last of its kind on the planet.

Musicwood upends our simplistic view of indigenous peoples and the past, with a story where it’s often impossible to tell the good guys from the bad. Musicwood is a culture clash of staggering proportions, between Native American loggers, white CEO’s, and the most radical environmental group in the world.

The film features exclusive acoustic performances and interviews with guitar players like acoustic virtuoso Kaki King, The Antlers, Yo La Tengo, Steve Earle, Turin Brakes, and Kurt Wagner of Lambchop. Musicwood is a funny, complex and heartbreaking tug-of-war over natural resources and a profound cultural conflict.


Related Articles


Storm Surfers 3D US Premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival


RADIOMAN director Mary Kerr and Radioman himself interview and photos at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

We had the opportunity to speak with RADIOMAN director Mary Kerr and Radioman himself on the red carpet! Check out our interview and gallery!... more »

2013 SBIFF Director's Panel Announced

2013 the Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced a stellar line-up of top directors will participate in this Saturday Panel.... more »

SBIFF Announces Writer's Panel participants for Saturday's event

SBIFF’s It Starts With The Script panel features top writers who “lift the lid” on screenwriting and their journey to the big screen. Moderated by IndieWIRE’s Anne Thompson, this ever-popular panel features: Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty), Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being A Wallflower), Roman Coppola, (Moonrise Kingdom), John Gatins (Flight), Rian Johnson (Looper) and David Magee (Life of Pi).... more »

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Opening Night with Henry-Alex Rubin's "Disconnect"

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival opened tonight with the US premiere of Henry-Alex Rubin's "Disconnect". A sold out Arlington Theatre played host to the film and red carpet event.... more »

Quentin Tarantino to be honored with the American Reviera Award at SBIFF

Tarantino will be honored on Wednesday, January 30 at the Arlington Theatre. Quentin Tarantino is honored to accept the award as Leo DiCaprio regrettably had scheduling conflicts and cannot attend the previous announced event scheduled for February 1.... more »

Daniel Day-Lewis to Receive Montecito Award at SBIFF

Actor Daniel Day-Lewis with the prestigious Montecito Award at the 28th edition of the Festival on behalf of his inspirational performance in the title role of Lincoln, and as a celebration of his overall career.... more »

Jennifer Lawrence to receive Outstanding Performer of the Year Award at SBIFF

The Santa Barbara International Film Festiva announced today that Academy Award® nominated actress Jennifer Lawrence will be presented with the Outstanding Performer of the Year Award at the 28th edition of the festival.... more »

Robert De Niro chosen to receive SBIFF award

Director, producer and Academy Award-winning actor ROBERT DE NIRO has been chosen to receive The Santa Barbara International Film Festival's seventh annual KIRK DOUGLAS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN FILM at a black-tie Gala dinner at Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara on Saturday, December 8, 2012. ... more »

SBIFF to bestow Ben Affleck with Modern Master Award

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, will honor director, producer and actor Ben Affleck with the Modern Master Award at the 28th edition of the Festival.... more »

2012 Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The Stars turned out to launch the 27th edition of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival at the Arlington Theater. The opening night gala... more »

2011 Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The 26th annual edition of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival gets underway January 27th and runs through February 6th. SantaBarbarians will be on hand to cover the event.... more »