2020 Workers Unite Film Festival

Digging for Weldon Irvine Q&A Panel - Oct 18th

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Digging for Weldon Irvine is a feature-length documentary about the life and influence of heralded writer, arranger, composer and pianist Weldon Irvine, Jr. Weldon Irvine's socio-culturally evocative work in music and theater drew appreciation from the likes of Freddie Hubbard and Nina Simone to Mos Def and Q-Tip. The film studies his influence on the Black Arts Movement of the 1970s, the evolution of hip-hop, and the development of some of the most well-known figures in jazz today.

Through previously unreleased audio and music from Irvine, and exclusive interviews with those closely associated with the tortured artist professionally and personally, De Costa helps us understand the journey of an artist of moderate success yet monumental influence. Irvine, who wrote over 500 songs and over 50 plays, relentlessly strived to reinvent himself within an industry and a world that didn’t always reciprocate, understand or appreciate his voice.

VICTORIOUS DE COSTA (Director) - A first-generation New Yorker born of South/Central American parentage, Victorious De Costa has dedicated his life to providing social service locally, nationally and abroad. As a Disc Jockey and radio host, his life-long love for the arts and activism has taken him around the world where he learned the art of storytelling from different cultures as well as techniques to reach people in need. As a producer of the politically charged feature-length HBO documentary Yusuf Hawkins: Storm Over Brooklyn, Victorious continues to dedicate his stewardship to the community.

MICHAEL QUIGLEY (Director of Photography) - Michael Quigley graduated from the American University of Rome with a BA in Communications in 2003. For the last fourteen years he has worked in the New York film industry as a lighting gaffer while producing his own films in his spare time. He has wrote, directed, shot, and edited music videos, documentaries, and short narratives. His short film The Great Accountant (2016) has played at festivals across the country and recently won awards for Best Director and Best Editing at the Tampa Bay Underground Film Festival. In his spare time he plays the piano (poorly) and disc jockeys under his pseudonym Virginia Slim.

Weldon Irvine's discography: www.weldonirvinefilm.com/portraiture