ACCLAIMED DOCUMENTARY ‘UNDERPLAYED’ TO BECOME AVAILABLE ON THE AMAZON MUSIC MOBILE APP AND AMAZON PRIME VIDEO ON MONDAY, MARCH 8 - INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY
The Amazon Music Twitch Channel to Host Live Release-Day Roundtable at 6 pm PST / 9 pm EST on Women in Electronic Music; Featuring Some of the Biggest Names in EDM and Underplayed Director Stacey Lee
Underplayed is a rousing film that focuses on the gender, ethnic, and sexual inequality issues within the electronic music industry and the female DJ’s who have risen to the top in spite of it all
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World Premiere – 2020 Toronto International Film Festival
Official Selection – 2020 Tribeca Film Festival
Electronic music was born from the ideals of diversity, community, and inclusivity; yet in 2019 only 7% of Billboard’s Top 100 DJs were women. They make up less than 3% of production and technical roles in the music industry. For women of color, it's less than 0.3%. Filmed over the summer festival season, Underplayed (underplayedthefilm.com ) presents a portrait of the current status of the gender, ethnic, and sexual equality issues through the lens of the female pioneers, next-generation artists, and industry leaders who are championing the change, and inspiring a more diverse pool of role models for future generations.
An official selection of both the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, Underplayed features NERVO, Rezz, Alison Wonderland, Tygapaw, TOKiMONSTA with an original score composed by Kate Simko.
Underplayed will have its global on demand release on Monday, March 8. In the U.S. and abroad, the film will be become available in the Amazon Music mobile app for Amazon Music Unlimited and Amazon Music HD subscribers, as well as on Amazon Prime Video at no additional cost to Prime members. The film will also be released in Canada on the same day via Crave. The Amazon Music Twitch Channel will host a live release-day roundtable at 6 pm PST / 9 pm EST on women in electronic music featuring Underplayed director Stacey Lee, some of the biggest DJs in electronic music, all moderated by Twitch’s premium content manager Valerie Lee.
The impetus for the documentary came to light during the 2018 Bud Light House Party Tour, when Bud Light Canada sat down with artists from diverse backgrounds and genres to learn about the evolution of their careers, and their unique experiences in recording, touring, and performing. Key conversations with female DJs exposed a striking gender inequality in the space, and further research substantiated their experiences.
Hammer to Nail film critic Christopher Reed called the film " a welcome wake-up call for better inclusion and diversity."
"When the pioneering godmothers of electronic music first began tinkering away in their scientific labs back in the 50s and 60s, they could never have imagined their little back room experiments would make way for a blossoming 8 billion dollar global industry today. Nor could they have foreseen how drastically its very creative, egalitarian roots would transmute from an open experimental playing field, to an industry dominated by a one-dimensional male point of view. This is a universal theme, and sadly one that I can personally relate to as a “female” filmmaker in a heavily male field. I empathize and understand the frustration of having to fight harder to be considered for jobs “because there aren’t as many good female directors,” to turn a deaf ear to the belief that women “can’t be technical”, that we don’t deserve equal pay, or in my instance, hiding my pregnancy beneath an oversized blazer so I wouldn’t jeopardize my chances of securing jobs."
"When I learned about the shared plight of the women in electronic music, I saw a necessity to tell a story that speaks to the deeply personal and very human impact of this global issue. That transcends the music space, and speaks to the collective experience of so many working women today from film to politics and beyond."
"Ultimately Underplayed raises the question; do we want our ears to be controlled by logarithms, safe bets and preconceived formulas...or become a space that is radically free to sound as rich, diverse and ever- changing as the world around us? The hope is for Underplayed to stimulate the conversation needed to break down the systematic bias’ and bring electronic music back to its open, diverse and fiercely experimental roots. To remind us that equality isn’t about one side defeating the other, but by all sides coming together for the greater good. Because the more we can lift each other up, the more we all have to gain."
– Stacey Lee, Director
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Stacey Lee, Director
Born in New Zealand, Stacey Lee’s work focuses on humanity, music, and movement. Her documentary short Live Fast Draw Yung premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in 2015, winning awards in Atlanta and Tacoma. She was recently shortlisted for the Cannes Young Directors Award and selected as part of the DGA/AICP Diversity Showcase. Underplayed is her feature debut.
ABOUT THE EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Bud Light, Executive Producer
As a sponsor of music events and parties across the globe, Bud Light Canada recognized a problem in the music space: a major lack of diversity and inclusion. Underplayed was born through a vision to bring more awareness to the many and complicated issues that have led to the current state, and help drive change within the industry.
Director X, Executive Producer
Director X is the protégé of pioneering hip hop director Hype Williams, and has been noted for directing high-budget, visually distinctive videos for popular artists, including Drake, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Wiz Khalifa, Usher, John Mayer, Korn, Iggy Azalea and many more.
Taj Critchlow - Executive Producer
Born in Toronto, Taj Critchlow is a multifaceted entrepreneur: a talent manager, film and television producer, and creative consultant. His company, Karoshi Management, represents some of today's most culturally relevant filmmakers such as Director X, Karena Evans and RT! Taj is also the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fela - a new age production company specializing in authentic cultural storytelling. In 2018, Taj began the next phase in his career, working as an Executive Producer on Director X's Joel Silver-produced feature film, Superfly.
ABOUT THE PRODUCER
William Crouse, Producer
A Brooklyn-based producer, Crouse's documentary films have played at SXSW, DOC NYC, Hamptons International Film Festival, and New Orleans Film Festival. HIs 2019 film Lowland Kids won Audience Award for Best Documentary at Palm Springs ShortFest and was nominated for the Cinema Eye Honors for Outstanding Achievement in a Nonfiction Short.
Based in Toronto, Canada, levelFILM is the entertainment distribution company behind feature films such as Les Misérables, The Peanut Butter Falcon, The Assistant, Military Wives, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, Firecrackers, and The Dissident. Founded in 2013, levelFILM is a full service distributor who specializes in acquiring, developing, marketing and selling quality independent films. Between a growing catalogue of high-quality films and a number of projects in various stages of development, levelFILM’s goal is to create balance both on-screen and off.
The company is maintaining a diversified slate of films across all genres that are both highly marketable and captivatingly original, while leveraging both traditional distribution tactics and digital strategies that are as innovative as effective as the films they support.