Denise Sullivan

Author, Journalist, Culture Worker

Music business in trouble, but film lives

Jacks Haupt and Doris Muñoz as themselves in Isabel Castro’s documentary, Mija

In Mija, directed by Isabel Castro, the intersecting stories of artist manager, Doris Muñoz, and singer, Jacks Haupt, unfold in a classic rock ’n’ roll fairytale. 

“When you’ve never seen someone like you succeed, it feels impossible,“ says Muñoz in the film as she dreams big for herself and Haupt.

As children of immigrants, the documentary’s Latinx subjects share a bond: Their family dilemmas combined with the elements of chance it takes to make it in the music business are a reminder of just how much timing and luck have to do with the game, no matter the amount of raw talent or hard work at hand. Throw in a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic and the odds of connecting with a wider audience become even more remote.

And yet, Mija screened to a sold-out theater this week with its subjects and director in attendance at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Returning to a live theater format rather than offering a streaming or hybrid option as the pandemic has dictated for the past couple of years was an intentional choice by the SFFILM, sensing that we’re all past due for communal filmgoing again. 

“At this point, there’s one group of moviegoers you can count on and that’s young adults,” said Adam Bergeron, owner of the Balboa Theater and operator of several independent theaters in San Francisco, including the Vogue and the soon-to-reopen Four Star. Business has been steadily coming back, and with it, there are plans to turn the Four Star back to a single screen theater with a gallery/event space and a cafe as additions. Scheduled to open this summer, the news of a hybrid space launching in the face of so many small businesses and independent cinema closures is a victory for grassroots artists and the people who support them.

Read the whole article at Tourworthy:

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