NICNAT FILMS PRESENTS
PRESS KIT Distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment Produced in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Financed with the assistance of Screen Australia
© 2011 NicNat Films Pty Ltd
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PERSECUTION BLUES: THE BATTLE FOR THE TOTE. MELBOURNE, Tuesday, 26 July 2011 – Madman and NicNat Films are proud to announce the documentary, PERSECUTION BLUES: THE BATTLE FOR THE TOTE will receive its world premiere this Thursday, 28th July at the Melbourne International Film Festival, and will be followed soon after by a theatrical release on 25th August at Cinema Nova. Punk, passion, politics and public protest collide in PERSECUTION BLUES: THE BATTLE FOR THE TOTE, an exploration of the rich musical history of Melbourne and the overwhelming public outcry ignited by news of the imminent closure of one of its most renowned and beloved rock and roll venues. In 2010, the iconic Tote Hotel - last bastion of Melbourne’s vibrant music counterculture - was forced to close due to rigorous liquor licensing laws. Filmed over 7 years, PERSECUTION BLUES: THE BATTLE FOR THE TOTE puts the audience on the front line of an epic-scale culture war, depicting the plight of more than 20,000 punters - along with the bands who inspire them - as they strive to preserve their history and protect the future of live music. Directed by music video and documentary filmmaker Natalie van den Dungen and produced by television and documentary maker Nicole Rogers, PERSECUTION BLUES: THE BATTLE FOR THE TOTE is a 57minute documentary, produced in association with The Australian Broadcasting Association and financed with the assistance of Screen Australia and Madman Entertainment. PERSECUTION BLUES: THE BATTLE FOR THE TOTE is planned for broadcast on ABC Television in the near future, and will be released on DVD shortly after. Trailer and additional information available at: www.persecutionblues.com For further media enquiries, please contact Madman Publicity on the details provided below. -- ENDS --
ABOUT NICNAT FILMS Natalie van den Dungen: After volunteering at The Australian Film, Television and Radio School in Sydney for two years, Natalie van den Dungen was employed as the in-house camera operator for MTV. In 2002, Natalie relocated to Melbourne and worked as a camera assistant on several large-scale drama productions until 2007. Coupling her love of music and film Natalie has since become a full-time freelance director of music videos, live music DVD and music related documentaries. PERSECUTION BLUES: THE BATTLE FOR THE TOTE is Natalie’s first TV length documentary. Nicole Rogers: After graduating from a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies at RMIT University in 2001, Melbourne, Nicole Rogers has worked in both commercial television and independent documentary since 2002. Nicole has produced major factual, reality and entertainment television programs for Crackerjack Productions, FremantleMedia Australia, Channel Nine, The Seven Network, Channel 10, BBC, Foxtel and Freehand Productions. She produced her first documentary, ACCESS ALL AREAS: SHANE CRAWFORD EXPOSED (2004) for Channel Nine. Whilst working full-time in commercial television, Nicole field produced FOOTY CHICKS (2006) for Red Ithaka Productions, which screened at The Sydney International Film Festival and was broadcast on SBS. PERSECUTION BLUES: THE BATTLE FOR THE TOTE is Nicole’s third documentary and she is currently employed as a Senior Producer for FremantleMedia Australia.
ABOUT MADMAN ENTERTAINMENT Madman is a leading independent film and television distribution and rights management company, with offices in Australia and New Zealand. Madman is renowned for its commitment to quality Australian and foreign film, factual content, as well as highly collectable categories such as Japanese anime, genre film, animation and cult television. Madman's capabilities encompass end to end acquisition, marketing, creative, sales and distribution in all mediums and formats, from the silver screen to the digital realm. Madman is also a proud producer of Australian film and television content. Celebrating 15 years in 2011, put simply, Madman is mad for entertainment. Madman is owned by Funtastic Limited, one of Australia's largest wholesalers of consumer products into retail outlets and an Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) listed company. For further media enquiries, please contact: Ben Pollock Publicity Manager – Madman Entertainment Tel: + 61 3 94170977 / + 61 422 980 878 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: madman.com.au | madman.com.au/pressarea
Persecution Blues: The Battle for The Tote A NicNat Films Production Directed by Natalie van den Dungen Produced by Nicole Rogers and Natalie van den Dungen Edited by Ken Sallows and Natalie van den Dungen Produced in association with The Australian Broadcasting Association Financed with the assistance of Screen Australia and Madman Entertainment Distributed by Madman Entertainment
SYNOPSIS Persecution Blues: The Battle for The Tote is a 57-minute observational documentary that explores the rich musical history of one of Melbourne’s most renowned rock and roll venues, The Tote Hotel in Collingwood, and follows the impact of its imminent closure. Punk, passion, politics and public protest collide, in this documentary depicting the fight to save live music in Melbourne. In 2010, the iconic Tote Hotel - last bastion of Melbourne’s vibrant music counterculture - was forced to close by rigorous liquor licensing laws. Filmed over 7 years, Persecution Blues: The Battle for The Tote depicts the struggle of more than 20,000 fans - and the bands who inspire them - to preserve their history and protect their future, and puts the audience on the front line of an epic-scale culture war. Performers and patrons alike have long regarded Melbourne as Australia’s music capital, and one of the greatest supporters of the independent music scene. The city is blessed with not only a variety of alternative community radio stations, but has been the home to several premier music venues such as The Crystal Ballroom, The Continental Café, The Punters Club, The Duke of Windsor, The Rainbow Hotel, The Corner Hotel and The Esplanade Hotel. Sadly, the majority of these places have now closed their doors. And now, one of the last remaining of these iconic Melbourne venues, The Tote Hotel, will be forced to close its doors due to rigorous liquor licensing laws. The Tote Hotel has housed everything that defines the Melbourne character – lack of pretension, humour, tolerance, talent and community. It is this culture that cultivates and sustains remarkable live music. “There are a few places that we had the pleasure of visiting that seemed to almost hum with personality,” comments Ian MacKaye from Fugazi. “I don’t know what happened there before we arrived, and I don’t know what happened after we left, but I do know that in the short time that we were there, we were regulars, woven forever into the story. Carry on, Tote!” Shot over seven years, Persecution Blues: The Battle for The Tote features interviews with political figureheads, band managers, bookers, punters and a myriad of Australian and Internationally renowned bands. It examines the unique history of The Tote Hotel, the reasons it is held in such high esteem amongst performers and patrons, and follows the impact of its demise upon the music community. The closure of important live music venues is not just a Melbourne phenomenon; numerous cities around Australia, and the world, have also suffered the loss of major band venues, impacting on the cultural diversity of these cities. Showcasing live performances from The Drones, Magic Dirt, Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Spiderbait, The King Brothers, The Meanies and The Pierced Arrows, The Tote Hotel proves that it is an important musical landmark and central to the continuing growth of both the Melbourne and Australian music scene. Persecution Blues: The Battle for The Tote is a poignant and lively reminder of how music fosters togetherness and illustrates the strength of community.
OUTLINE Persecution Blues: The Battle for The Tote is a 57-minute documentary project that captures the essence of a movement, the heart of a community and the legacy of an iconic institution. The Tote Hotel in Collingwood has stood as a beacon for Melbourne’s independent music scene for 30 years. As fashions and fads have waned, The Tote has stood firm as a guardian of timeless live rock and roll in Australia’s premier music city. Showcasing both major international acts and ambitious local performers, The Tote has built up a close knit, fiercely independent following, championing the power and raw energy of live music. The Tote is a place far beyond the sum of its parts; a scruffy, beer stained interior resonates with the echoes of unforgettable performances, life changing experiences and an unshakeable sense of community. The effort required to keep the place running transcends common and financial sense, but instead is the life’s passion of Bruce Milne and his team of dedicated followers. Their tireless efforts have provided Melbourne with the most valuable resources; a cultural hub and a musical heart. But what price is the soul of a city? In 2009 the Victorian Government introduced controversial new liquor licensing laws, designed to curb spiralling outbreaks of alcohol fuelled violence in the city. Enthusiastically encouraged by Police, and enflamed by headline hungry media, these draconian new laws seem set to change the face of Melbourne’s drinking culture forever. Somehow, The Tote Hotel has slipped into the firing line. Despite a dearth of trouble, or arrests, or violence, The Tote has become as much an innocent victim as those the new law seeks to protect. Its only crime is to be bold, spontaneous and subversive in a modern, homogenised and inoffensive world. Shot over seven years, Persecution Blues: The Battle for The Tote bears witness to this iconic location and the spirit it engenders. Featuring interviews with The Tote Hotel owner Bruce Milne, musicians, journalists, promoters, historians, bookers, punters, managers and politicians, this film introduces us to the people who hold the fate of The Tote in their hands. Driven by electrifying live band performances and an unrelenting soundtrack, Persecution Blues: The Battle for The Tote drags the viewer through a visceral experience like no other; this is real, elemental rock and roll by the people, for the people. As the clock ticks down, can Bruce and the passion of a movement save The Tote? Can the community really stand up to the Politicians and power brokers? As the speeches are given and the chants echo in the streets, is anybody listening? Will Persecution Blues: The Battle for The Tote be a triumphant document of unity and redemption or a poignant elegy to yet another lost battle?
ABOUT NICNAT FILMS Natalie van den Dungen Director Natalie was born in Melbourne. After moving to Sydney in 2001, Natalie volunteered at The Australian Film, Television and Radio School for two years and was then employed as the in-house camera operator for MTV. In 2002, Natalie relocated to Melbourne and worked as a camera assistant on several large-scale drama productions until 2007. Coupling her love of music and film Natalie has since become a full-time freelance director of music videos, live DVD's and music related documentaries. Natalie’s first foray into music video making won her 'Best Music Video' award at The Heart of Gold Film Festival in 2007 for long time collaborator Darren Hanlon's 'Elbows'. Her music video for Dan Deacon's 'Paddling Ghost' was invited into festivals around the globe including Pictoplasma Animation Festival 2009 in Berlin. In 2010 Natalie released her first DVD Unfamiliar Stars for the Australian band The Lucksmiths, which features the band's farewell concert and a 22-minute documentary following the band's final days. More recently, she directed and edited a series of music videos for Australian super group Seeker Lover Keeper (Sarah Blasko, Holly Throsby, Sally Seltmann) starring three of Australia's most renowned actors - Aden Young, John Waters and Barry Otto. Natalie is currently completing another music DVD for Australian band The Drones. Persecution Blues: The Battle for The Tote is Natalie’s first TV length documentary.
Nicole Rogers Producer Nicole Rogers was born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia. In 1998, she moved to Melbourne to pursue her interest in film and television and graduated from a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies, majoring in Television Production and Cinema Studies, at RMIT University in 2002. She has since worked in both commercial television and independent documentary. Nicole has produced major factual, reality and entertainment television programs for a myriad of Australian and International production companies and networks, including Crackerjack Productions, FremantleMedia, Channel Nine, The Seven Network, Channel 10, BBC, Foxtel and Freehand Productions. Some of the programs she has produced include Jamie’s Kitchen Australia, Farmer Wants a Wife, Project Runway Australia, Triple Zero Heroes, Airways and Dancing with the Stars. Nicole produced her first documentary, Access All Areas: Shane Crawford Exposed (2004) for Hush Productions, which screened on Channel Nine. Whilst working full-time in commercial television, Nicole then went onto produce Footy Chicks (2006) for Red Ithaka Productions, which screened at The Sydney International Film Festival and was broadcast on SBS. Persecution Blues: The Battle for The Tote is Nicole’s third documentary. Nicole is currently employed as a Senior Producer for FremantleMedia Australia.
Pictured: Producer Nicole Rogers (left) and Director Natalie van den Dungen (right) Photographer: Leah Robertson
DOCUMENTARY CREDITS DIRECTED BY Natalie van den Dungen PRODUCED BY Nicole Rogers And Natalie van den Dungen EDITED BY Ken Sallows, ASE And Natalie van den Dungen INTERVIEWEES Bruce Milne, Amanda Palmer, Andy Moore, Michael ‘Macca’ Mcmanus, James Milne, Gareth Liddiard, Fiona Kitschin, Mike Noga & Rui Pereira (The Drones), Kat, Ally & Lucy Spazzy (The Spazzy’s), Link Maclellan, Raul Sanchez & Dean Turner, Robert Mayson, Robert Macmanus & Bonnie Mercer, James Young, Toody & Fred Cole, Julian Wu, Damian ’ Whitt’ Whitty (Spiderbait), Helen Marcou & Quincy Mclean, Shannon Vanderwert & Patrick Bourke (Dallas Crane), Jon Perring, Clinton ‘Foxy’ Scott, Sam Crupi BANDS FEATURED Joel Silbersher, GOD, The Drones, Bored!, King Brothers, Pierced Arrows, The Sailors, The 18.104.22.168’s, Spiderbait, Magic Dirt, The Bakelite Age, The Dictators, Eddy Current Supression Ring, The Onyas, Cosmic Psychos, Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist, The Nation Blue, The Meanies, The Breadmakers, Powder Monkeys SCREEN AUSTRALIA CREATIVE CONSULTANT Karin Altmann ABC TV COMMISSIONING EDITOR Amanda Duthie SCRIPT EDITOR Adam Spellicy INTERVIEW CAMERA OPERATORS Mat Govoni, Karl Siemon CAMERA OPERATORS Natalie van den Dungen, Mat Govoni, Karl Siemon, Dave Arnold, Matt Richards, Heath McIvor & Nicole Rogers ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE SOURCES Australian Broadcasting Corporation Library Sales, Paul Elliot, Michael Helmes, Paul Drane, Ben Loveridge, Bruce Milne, Penny Everett & Steve Harwood ARCHIVAL PHOTOGRAPHS Heather McDonald, Lisa Mackinney, Ben Butcher, The Triffids, The Scientists & God ANIMATION & TITLE DESIGN Lluis Fuzzhound MUSIC SUPERVISOR Bruce Milne INTERVIEW AUDIO Helen McGrath, Jock Healy, Joël Valérie, Mat Govoni, Heath McIvor LIVE AUDIO RECORDED BY Andy Hunt, Nao Anzai, Matt Maddock, Lloyd Press, Patrick Wauthier ADDITIONAL LIVE AUDIO RECORDED BY Melbourne’s Triple R 102.7 Staff And Volunteers
SOUND MIX Damian Jory Marco Velasco COLOURIST Piers McDonald POST HOUSE 2 Dogs Post POST PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS Katie Broadbent, Dane Naoum, Dale Bartlett, Vanessa Cox, Josie Steele, Thomas Hyland LEGALS Julian Hewitt, Media Arts Lawyers PRODUCTION ACCOUNTANT Meredith Fannin, Darkwave Consulting INSURANCES Holland Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd NicNat Films acknowledges the discounted supply of cameras and services by Lemac, Video Australasia, The Hub, Catfish Films. SPECIAL THANKS TO Richie Ramone, Robert Van Den Dungen, Anna Mantzoros, Chris Boyle, Adrian Burke And Everyone At Madman, Matt Weston, Leah Roberston, Karina Averlon-Thomas, Cameron Mcculloch, David Cole, Damian Jory, Elle Wilson, Dante Gabriele, Ema Thornell, Matthew Walker, Billy Carra, Sam Fredrick, Dave Houchin, Kirsty Rivers, Sunny Leunig, Mick Emery, Everyone we interviewed, The whole Tote family (past and present) and the people who donated and played the fundraisers - thank you. EXTRA SPECIAL THANKS TO Nick Batzias and Paul Wiegard at Madman Entertainment SOUNDTRACK "My Pal" Performed by The Drones/Joel Silbersher Written by Joel Silbersher Courtesy of Universal Music Publishing Group "Motherless Child" performed live by The Drones Written by G. Liddiard Courtesy of Mushroom Music Publishing "Mr. Ten Percent" performed live by Bored! Written by D. Thomas (Control)
“Dr. Creep” performed by The Sailors Written by L. Stackpole (Control) "Unknown" performed live by King Brothers Written by King Brothers (Control) “Shades” performed live by Pierced Arrows Written by F.Cole (Control) “Edie Is Sweet Candy” performed live by The 22.214.171.124's Written by R. Fujii (Control) “Scenester” performed by Spiderbait Written by Written by M. Maher, D.Whitty, J. English Courtesy of Sony/ATV Music Publishing “Pace It” performed live by Magic Dirt Written by A. Srsen Courtesy of Mushroom Music Publishing “Walking In My Shadow” performed by Bakelite Age Written by L. McLennan (Control) "Who Will Save Rock & Roll” performed live by The Dictators Written by Andy Shernoff Courtesy of Bug Music “Firecracker” performed live by Go Go Sapien Written by W. Hindmarsh (Control) “King of Kings” performed live by Elm Street Written by Aaron Adie (Control) “It’s All Square” performed live by Eddy Current Suppression Ring Written by Young/Huntley/Barry/Young Courtesy of Mushroom Music Publishing "The Last Temptation of Macka".performed live by The Onyas Written by J . McKeering, J . Stanley, R . Stanley (Control) “Sell Out” performed live by Dave Graney & The Lurid Yellow Mist Written by D. Graney Courtesy of Mushroom Music Publishing “Sedition” performed live by The Nation Blue Written by The Nation Blue Courtesy of Mushroom Music Publishing “10% Weird” performed live by The Meanies Written by L. McLennan (Control) “Old Man Sam” performed live by Spiderbait Written by M. Maher, D.Whitty, J. English Courtesy of Sony/ATV Music Publishing “Hoodoo Night Spot” performed by The Breadmakers Written by The Breadmakers (Control) “My Pal” performed by God Written by J Silbersher
Courtesy of Universal Music Publishing Group “Persecution Blues” performed by Powder Monkeys Written by T. Hemensley (Control) To those whose work has not been credited, or may have attributed, we offer our sincerest apologies. DISTRIBUTED IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BY Madman Entertainment Produced in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Financed with the assistance of Screen Australia © 2011 NicNat Films Pty Ltd