New Documentary Exploring the History of Legendary Tribeca Nightclub and Activism Center Wins 2 Awards
"Wetlands Preserved," a new documentary film on the history of Wetlands' 161 Hudson Street nightclub, took the honors at the Ashville Film Festival for Best Documentary and received the "Best Unreleased Film." Award at the High Times Stony Awards.
The film premiered at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Manhattan on Sunday, April 23rd, as both the closing film of the first Green Apple Film Festival and the final event in the Green Apple Music & Arts Festival.
The directorial debut from writer/editor/deejay Dean Budnick, "Wetlands Preserved" salutes a rock club celebrated for its eclectic bookings and political and environmental activism. Hailed as "a landmark rock club" by Rolling Stone and often described as "the Fillmore of the 90s," The Wetlands is considered the very womb and birthplace of the modern day jamband scene.
From 1989 to 2001, The Wetlands provided a stage for everyone from tiny ska and hardcore bands to future stars of rock and hip-hop. Pearl Jam, Oasis and Rage Against the Machine played their first New York City shows there, and the likes of Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors and Phish turned the venue into a mecca for live, improvisational rock music.
Simultaneously, the club itself provided a headquarters for working groups for social and environmental advocacy. Forced out of its downtown Manhattan home when its lease expired, the club closed prematurely in the wake of 9/11, just days before its scheduled finale.
The New York Times called the closing a "major loss for music lovers," and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame proudly made display space available for the infamous Volkswagen microbus that once rested near the club's front door.
Through accounts of musicians, staffers and clubgoers, "Wetlands Preserved" explores the club's legend, providing a full account of its rich history for the first time. While the independent nightclub supported new music scenes while also initiating successful activism campaigns, it also emerged over its 13 years as a proving ground and nurturing environment for numerous notable acts who built a fan base and gained renown at the club. Many of these riveting performances appear in "Wetlands Preserved," which exclusively incorporates music that originated at The Wetlands. In addition to the Dave Matthews Band, Blues Traveler, Phish, and Pearl Jam, "Wetlands Preserved" also features songs from such artists as Ani DiFranco, Sublime, Ben Harper, moe., 311, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, KRS-1, Joan Osborne, Fishbone, Agnostic Front and Michael Franti & Spearhead.
"Wetlands Preserved" is the first feature-length film produced in conjunction with the RES Media Group, which stands at the vanguard of digital filmmaking. "Wetlands Preserved" features the work of more than a dozen animators, selected by RES to breathe new life into still photography and recreate the essence of the Wetlands live music experience.
Learn more about this exciting new film at its website.