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PAFF 2023 Best Documentary Feature - Nominee

A vibrant and nostalgic music documentary that showcases the beginnings of techno music and how Detroit was the creative and cultural hub for the creation and development of these beats. This lively exploration takes viewers from Detroit to Chicago to London and Berlin, exposes yet another chapter in cultural misappropriation as it traces techno’s origins in the African American community and not the German community, as is now mistakenly thought. Focusing on the talent of a group of young Black artists — including Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Blake Baxter, Eddie Fowlkes and Santonio Echols — “God Said Give ‘Em Drum Machines” is a compelling, rarely showcased history of mismanaged success, damaged friendships, ascendant beats and raw inspiration detailing how the innovation and artistry of these Detroit musicians led to one of the most celebrated and profitable musical genres in the world.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    96 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
    US, Germany, Japan, United Kingdom, South Africa
  • Premiere
    West Coast
  • Social Media
  • Director
    Kristian R. Hill
  • Screenwriter
    Kristian R. Hill, Jennifer Washington, Tim Roddy, Tom Quarterman
  • Producer
    Jennifer Washington, Kristian R. Hill, Delmar Washington, David Grandison Jr.
  • Executive Producer
    Jennifer Washington, Kathryn Everett, Bryn Mooser, Christina McLarty Arquette, David Arquette, Justin Lacob, Andy Hseih, Tony Hseih, Shaka Senghor
  • Co-Producer
    Eric Jackson
  • Cast
    Blake Baxter, Derrick May, Eddie Fowlkes, Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson, Mike Huckaby, Norman Anderson, Richie Hawtin, Santonio Echols
  • Cinematographer
    Moses Mitchell
  • Editor
    Charles Little II ACE, Kristian R. Hill, Doug Blush
  • Animator
    Damion Lewin
  • Composer
    Reggie Dokes
  • Sound Design
    Flora Zaret, Audio Design Desk
  • Music
    Kai Alcé, Scan 7, Butterbandz, Omar-S, Walter "Hazmat" Howard