A Legend Gets Her Due: Cutters Editor Michael Lippert Debuts Feature Doc at Heartland Intl FF

World-renowned singer, the late Carol Sloane is the subject of the new feature-length documentary, Sloane: A Jazz Singer, directed by Michael Lippert. The film recently took First Prize in the Feature Documentary category at The Rhode Island International Film Festival, and has won in total 7 “Best of” awards across the world. Sloane is now set to make its Midwest Premiere at Heartland International Film Festival in Indy on Sunday, October 8 at 5:15pm and Friday Oct 13 at 7:15pm.

The film follows an 82-year-old Sloane in September 2019 in the days leading up to her final live album recording at Birdland Jazz Club in New York City.

Here is your first look at the documentary feature…

In the 1960s, jazz singer Carol Sloane became an overnight sensation. A natural interpreter of the Great American Songbook, she was hailed by Johnny Carson and later the Washington Post as “the greatest living jazz singer.” She performed and toured with some of the biggest names, like Oscar Peterson and Ella Fitzgerald. She even befriended The Beatles and The Stones. But when the British Invasion of rock swept the country, her rising star faded as quickly as it rose, paving the way for devastating financial and emotional setbacks. And to this day, most people have never heard of Carol Sloane.

Through rare archival footage, intimate moments with Sloane, and enlightening commentary from industry leaders, the film illuminates the remarkable six-decade career of this singular artist’s adherence to her passion against great odds, and are invited to examine the meaning of success in a world where “art don’t pay.” 

Sadly, Carol passed away in early 2023, only a month before the film won Best Feature Documentary at its World Premiere in The Santa Fe Film Festival. (She did, however, see the final film before she died.) As a testament to Carol’s lasting impression on peers and critics, tributes soon poured in from The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Boston Globe and others. 

Reviews for the film have been overwhelmingly enthusiastic. Jazz writer Joe Vanderford recently said the film is “a proper couplet to the renowned 20 Feet from Stardom. This film needs to be seen by everyone who loves music – and those who understand the challenges of growing up and growing old…” The film was also called “an invaluable gift” by the New York City Jazz Record, and Boston Jazz Chronicles said “the true summa to [Carol’s] sixty-year career is Michael Lippert’s documentary, Sloane: A Jazz Singer.”

Lippert, who worked on the film for four years, is a longtime editor at Cutters Studios in Chicago, and Cutters was integral to the film’s postproduction and mix. With the help of Cutters President and Managing Director Craig Duncan, several staff members from editorial to IT pitched in to make it happen. The film’s poster was done by Flavor designer Colby Capes, and it was mixed at Another Country by Drew Weir. “It was a family effort,” says Lippert. “Cutters was generous with resources and Craig helped me usher this to the finish line. I can’t imagine finishing a project of this scope and size without the village involved.”

Tickets to both screenings will be available starting Sept 15 through Heartland’s website or the film’s official page at sloanefilm.com. For the film’s trailer and more information, go to sloanefilm.com/trailer, or visit them on Facebook and Instagram (@sloanejazzfilm) for regular updates.

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