Deep in the forests of a region of Lithuania known as the 'Land of Songs,' five charming and outspoken grandmothers are the bearers of their village's ancient folk singing tradition. Singing has nourished their lifelong friendships, and helped them to cope with decades of war and occupation. As the modern world encroaches on their tiny forest village, and the youth move away in search of opportunities elsewhere, the grandmothers struggle to keep their songs alive.
"Land of Songs" is a feature-length documentary produced by brother-sister filmmaking team Aldona Watts and Julian Watts, currently in post-production.
Stills and production photos by Aida JK and Ignas Kazlauskas.
ALDONA WATTS, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER
Aldona Watts is a multimedia storyteller working in New York and San Francisco. She is currently directing her debut feature documentary film "Land of Songs," which was shot and co-produced by her brother, Julian Watts. “Land of Songs” was selected for IFP's 2014 Spotlight on Documentaries Film Forum at Independent Film Week in New York, and is fiscally sponsored by San Francisco Film Society. Aldona is an organizer at Her Girl Friday, a Brooklyn-based group that produces events for women in journalism and nonfiction storytelling. She hosted and produced a weekly radio show about punk music and culture that broadcasted in New York on WNYU FM and in Vilnius, Lithuania on Start FM. She has written and produced audio documentaries, directed youth programs in broadcast media, and managed a youth radio station in Queens, New York. She graduated from New York University with an Interdisciplinary B.A. in Gender Studies, Art, and Media Studies.
JULIAN WATTS, CINEMATOGRAPHER/PRODUCER
Julian Watts is an artist whose work spans film, music composition, sculpture, painting and furniture design. His work has shown in New York and throughout the West Coast, and is represented by Campfire Gallery in San Francisco. He is currently composing an original score for an upcoming short film, and has spent the last two years shooting and producing "Land of Songs," a feature documentary directed by his sister Aldona Watts. He is based in San Francisco, where he was born and raised.
NICHOLAS BERGER, EDITOR
Nicholas Berger has directed and edited award-winning documentary shorts, including “Nutkin’s Last Stand,” which played at IDFA, Silverdocs, and Palm Springs (among other festivals), aired on PBS, was nominated for a Student Academy Award, and was selected for Dave Eggers’ DVD magazine “Wholphin.” As an undergraduate he attended Brown University, where he received a B.A. in Philosophy. After graduating, he spent two years working on documentaries for PBS and the History Channel. He then attended Stanford University’s Documentary Film program where he received an M.F.A. Berger was born in San Francisco and has lived in San Diego, New York and Berlin.
SUPPORT LAND OF SONGS
“Land of Songs” is a 100% independent project, supported during the production phase by more than 165 backers on Kickstarter, individual donations, and the Vilnius Municipality. Now we are raising post-production funds to complete the film. We are fiscally sponsored by the San Francisco Film Society (a 501(c)3 charity), and all donations are tax-deductible.
MAKE A DONATION
Checks can be made out to “San Francisco Film Society” and mailed to:
San Francisco Film Society
ATTN: Finance Dept.
39 Mesa St. Suite 110
San Francisco, CA 94129
Please write “Land of Songs, FSP 1452″ in the memo of the check.
Donations may also be made with a credit card, however 3% will be deducted from the donation amount to cover processing fees. This deduction is waived when donating with a check. We highly recommend donating with a check so that your money goes directly to "Land of Songs." If you would like to donate via credit card, you can do so here.
HOW WILL YOUR DONATIONS BE USED?
All donations go directly to our most pressing post-production costs, including:
• Editing fees
• Color correction
• Sound mix
If you have questions about the donation process, please contact landofsongsfilm [at] gmail [dot] com