MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Nashville Film Festival, April 16-23, 2009, will host the world premier of WILLIAM SHATNER'S GONZO BALLET, a documentary co-directed and produced by Kevin Layne, of Forti/Layne Entertainment, http://www.fortilayne.com, in association with The Independent Film Company and Big Screen Entertainment Group.
The documentary chronicles the creation of “Common People” a ballet by famed New York choreographer Margo Sappington who was inspired to craft the piece after hearing Shatner in an NPR interview speaking about his critically acclaimed album, “Has Been.”
“Has Been,” written by Shatner and Ben Folds of the Ben Folds Five, was recorded in Nashville and produced by Folds in his legendary Nashville Studio, a studio that has recorded many music greats including Elvis Presley. The album features appearances by Henry Rollins, Aimee Mann, Joe Jackson, Adrian Belew and Brad Paisley.
The “Common People” ballet incorporates six songs from the album and was performed by the Milwaukee Ballet when it premiered in 2007. GONZO BALLET explores the genesis of this unique artistic collaboration by fusing the music, poetry, and dance of "Common People" with interviews of the creators, dancers, musicians and Shatner himself.
In 2008, when Layne was asked to bring a fresh approach to the project, he had most of the interviews reshot including a new interview with Shatner and his wife Elizabeth. “When we finally sat down to interview Bill, I had some new areas that I wanted to explore with him,” says Layne. “But what he gave me was so much more of an intimate and revealing interview than anyone had expected, showing us a side of him that most people have never seen. It gave the piece a whole new dimension”, adds Layne.
An award wining producer/director, Layne has worked with Shakira, Gloria Estefan, Jon Secada, Britney Spears, Juanes, and Paul McCartney, in addition to producing countless entertainment, documentary and commercial projects over the course of his 20 plus year career. He recently served as co-producer and director of photography on Kevin Rudolf’s new music video, “Welcome to the World.” Layne is a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Science and the National Academy of Television Arts and Science.