A short documentary about a Qualicum Beach-based jazz musician has been nominated for an award by an American film festival.
This month, local Shaw TV volunteer, Kerilie McDowall, learned that the short film she created with the help of the Shaw Spotlight team, In the Zone: Rick Kilburn, is a finalist at the Jelly Film Festival in Los Angeles. McDowall said In the zone caught the eye of Jelly Fest after earning an honorable mention at the Independent Shorts Awards, another Los Angeles-based international film festival, last year.
“It is an honor to achieve this finalist designation. It’s kind of shocking because it’s also a global competition,” McDowall said. “I was completely surprised, but I’m not surprised because the people I worked with, the Shaw Spotlight team, are just excellent.”
McDowall has volunteered at Shaw Spotlight as a director, producer and host for over five years, and when she had the opportunity to film her own short, the first person that came to mind was Kilburn. . She has known him for many years, having first met him in Vancouver to record some of his music when she was a professional jazz guitarist.
“He’s a really fascinating person and he deserves a documentary like this as far as someone from the area is concerned,” McDowall said. “Shaw has already profiled well-known musicians on the island and I felt it was Rick’s turn.”
The film covers Kilburn’s life and career as an award-winning musician and producer. Kilburn shares his insights into music making and reminisces about stories from his past, including his time playing with jazz greats like Dave Brubeck and meeting crooner Tony Bennett.
“I was able to get him to do some really groovy solo jazz bass improvisations as part of the movie,” McDowell said.
The project was not without its challenges. McDowall said it took a year to complete the film, his busy schedule only allowing him to finish it in “little drops”. It also took encouragement for Kilburn to participate in the first place.
“I really had to work on him to convince him to do it and I’m glad he did because there’s such wisdom coming from Rick Kilburn,” McDowall said. “Every time I’ve had an interaction with him, I’ve always come away with a feeling of inspiration or admiration for him.”
In the Zone: Rick Kilburn can be viewed here.
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