Blues Documentary ‘Born In Chicago’ Wins Best of Fest at Palm Springs

Born In Chicago, the music documentary with deep roots in the Chicago music and production communities, has won “Best of Fest” at the 2023 Palm Springs International Film Festival.  The award was announced on January 16, following the January 5-16 festival.

Co-directed by Grammy-nominated Chicagoan John Anderson (“Brian Wilson Presents SMiLE LiVE”) and San Francisco-based Bob Sarles (“BANG! The Bert Berns Story”), the film tells the story of a small group of tough, white Chicago teenaged musicians who, in the early 1960s, took their love of the blues into the predominantly-black clubs on the city’s south and west sides.  They were treated like sons and encouraged by the original masters, including Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, and went on to play a key role in bringing the hard-edged, electrified Chicago blues to rock and roll. 

Here’s the full writeup from Palm Springs.

The film also won Best Director/Documentary honors at the 2022 FirstGlance Philadelphia Film Festival. 

Fifteen years in the making, “Born In Chicago” first screened in rough-cut form at Columbia College’s Film Row Cinema in 2010.  The film, which was shown in November at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, is the third in a trilogy of Chicago blues films helmed by Anderson, including “Sam Lay In Bluesland” (2016) and “Horn From The Heart: The Paul Butterfield Story” (2019).

Additional Chicago connections to the film: 

Executive Producer: Timm Martin of Out The Box Records  

Producer:  Barry Goldberg 

Cinematographer:  Aaron Hui 

Camera:  Frank Krochmal, Chris Delira, Alicia Healy, Alan Thatcher, Dan Martin, Paul Chilsen, Pete Biagi, Tom Piozet, Alejandro Marin 

Starring Keith Richards, Nick Gravenites, Harvey Mandel, Barry Goldberg, Corky Siegel, Charlie Musselwhite, Michael Bloomfield, Elvin Bishop, Sam Lay, Hubert Sumlin, BB King, Buddy Guy, Eric Burdon, Steve Miller, Bill Graham, Marshall Chess and Bob Dylan.  Written by Joel Selvin. 

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