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Sunday, November 11, 2018

11/12 - Post- show conversation with Cevin Soling, president of Spectacle Films and Xemu Records



LISTEN to today's conversation with Cevin Soling!

MEET CEVIN SOLING

Cevin Soling, president of Spectacle Films and Xemu Records, works as writer, director, producer, artist, and academic.

Soling directed and produced, THE WAR ON KIDS, winner of the best educational documentary award at the New York Independent Film and Video Festival. The film demonstrates how American public schools have become modeled after prisons in response to fear and a burgeoning intolerance of youth. The film ran at the Quad Cinema in New York City and screened at Harvard University as well as other major universities. It has received accolades from The New York Times, Variety, and The Huffington Post. Soling was a guest on numerous radio shows including The Lionel Show on Air America, The Joey Reynolds Show on WOR, and The Leonard Lopate Show on WNYC. In addition, the film was featured on national television along with an interview on The Dr. Nancy Show on MSNBC as well as on RT Television, and Soling was the featured guest on The Colbert Report. The film has been broadcast internationally on The Sundance Channel and aired domestically on The Documentary Channel.

Soling also produced and directed IKLAND, a film about a tribe in Northern Uganda that had been described as the most despicable people on the planet by the anthropologist who studied them over forty years ago. IKLAND won the award for Best Documentary content at the Boston International Film Festival and was released theatrically in June of 2012 where it received enthusiastic reviews from The New York Times, Discovery Magazine, and from several syndicated critics.

Soling wrote, directed, and produced the feature film, THE WAR ON THE WAR ON DRUGS, winner of the best experimental feature film award at the New York Independent Film and Video Festival, the Stoney Award for best documentary from High Times, as well as the “Clear Creek” Honorable Mention Award at the Winslow International Film Festival.



The New York Times proclaimed in a rave review that THE WAR ON THE WAR ON DRUGS "...a lively and well-executed satire that sweetens its occasional truths with rebellious humor..." The film was acquired for DVD distribution worldwide through Time Warner by The Disinformation Company.

Soling also executive produced the independent feature RELAX, IT'S JUST SEX, starring Jennifer Tilly, Lori Petty and Cynda Williams, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was seen on HBO and Showtime.

As a writer, Soling penned the animated short film, BORIS THE DOG, which won the “Premio Nuovo” award at the Williamsburg Brooklyn Film Festival and was part of Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Animation Festival. The film aired as part of MTV's CARTOON SUSHI as well as on the BBC in England, where it was accompanied by an interview with Soling. His short films CAPTAIN STICKMAN and DESTRUCTION, which Soling wrote and directed, were official selections at 2006 Chicago Indiefest.

Soling created and writes the animated series THE BILL JOHNSON SHOW, also featured in Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Animation Festival and in video compilation, “Caught in the Act,” released by Shout Factory. He has written a series of ten illustrated books under the heading of The Rumpleville Chronicles. The first three titles of the ten book series, The Jolly Elf, The Disciples of Trotsky, and The Bomb that Followed Me Home were released through Monk Media. Prominent publishing industry reviewer, ForeWord Magazine described the books as such: “These quick bursts of cracked brilliance, these splintered bedtime stories for grown folks, have the power to make readers laugh, and then think, then scoff at the futility of thinking.” His latest book, Tiffany Brittany Brook was picked up for representation by Langtons International Agency. His poetry earned him the title, Pharaoh of Fluff at the 2009 Fluff celebration in Somerville, MA. He wrote programming code and was published in the computer journal On Three magazine. He is also the author of The Student’s Resistance Handbook. Media attention to the book included a featured guest appearance on The Kennedy Show on Fox Business.

Soling has articles published in The Atlantic, Forbes, Wired, The Daily Beast, Science 2.0, Healthy Living, Mind/Shift, Disinformation, Education News, and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.

In the documentary arena, Soling is produced and executive produced the hour-long documentary about trepanation, A HOLE IN THE HEAD, which won the Best Documentary Award at both the Atlantic City Film Festival and at the Brooklyn International Film Festival. A HOLE IN THE HEAD was broadcast on Discovery and The Learning Channel and is available on video through Beatnik Home Video. Soling also executive produced the documentary on auto-urine therapy, URINE: GOOD HEALTH, also available on Beatnik Home Video. 


Soling has just completed work on MR. CEVIN AND THE CARGO CULT – a documentary about a cargo cult in Vanuatu that worships America. A documentary on Gilligan’s Island as a reflection of the political and social climate of the early 60’s, entitled THE GILLIGAN MANIFESTO, is being released in November 2018; and, a film about the staging of a Swan Lake ballet performance featuring actual llamas in the roles of the swans and a jug band performing the Tchaikovsky score, is in production. A preview of this project aired on PBS in Indiana, where the documentary will be shot. 

He has also in production on THE SUMMER OF HATE – a documentary on the Beatles’ controversial statements that led to bonfires, boycotts, and death threats against the band during their tour of the South in 1966. The film addresses the Beatles’ little known contributions to the Civil Rights movement and how the backlash against the band was inspired, in part, for their aggressive stance against racism in America.

In addition to his film work, Soling has been active in the music industry via his record company, Xemu Records. He was the songwriter, guitarist, and lead singer for THE NEANDERTHAL SPONGECAKE. Their CD, THE SIDE EFFECTS OF NAPALM, received considerable airplay across the U.S including major stations such as WLIR and WXRK (K-ROCK) in New York City. The song, Tastes Like Chicken was featured on the nationally syndicated Dr. Demento Show. Another song from the album, Buffalo, was the closing theme song for the A&E TV series Confessions of a Matchmaker. He currently writes and performs with THE LOVE KILLS THEORY – a band inspired by the Situationist philosophical movement and as well as bio-genetic studies on the evolution of despair. Their debut CD, Happy Suicide, Jim!, was released in January of 2007 and charted on CMJ’s top 200 and was played in rotation on over 70 commercial radio stations.

Soling has also served as producer for Jackie Chan, Ani DiFranco, Don Ho, The Smile Zone, and The Neanderthal Spongecake. He conceived, created, and executive produced the album WHEN PIGS FLY, a compilation of major artists performing covers of popular songs one would never imagine them performing. Among the artists featured were Devo, The Fixx, The Box Tops, Roy Clark, Jackie Chan, Lesley Gore, The Oak Ridge Boys, Herman’s Hermits, and Ani DiFranco. In addition, Soling conceived of and initiated the establishment of The Hard Rock CafĂ© as a live performance venue by touring Xemu artist, Scary Chicken, through the chain.

As academic, Soling has Masters degrees from Harvard University in Education Policy and Management and also in English. His thesis, “The Will to Transcendence,” won the award for Outstanding Thesis in the Humanities. At Harvard, he had been employed as a teaching assistant, research advisor, and faculty aid. His scholarly paper, “The Gilligan Manifesto” was published in Americana: The Journal of American Popular Culture and he worked as a reviewer for the Review of Educational Research. Soling has delivered lectures at Harvard, Yale, Tufts, Boston University, Chicago Institute of Technology, Northeastern, University of Connecticut, University of Rochester, and other schools. He also presented a TEDx Talk at SUNY Binghamton on “The Truthiness of School.”

Outside of entertainment, Soling received security clearances and an employment offer pending an appropriate assignment in the U.S. Foreign Service. Soling is a member of the high IQ society Mensa.

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