Bela Fleck film wins fan choice award

Bela Fleck in Africa plays the banjo with traditional musiciansEarlier this month, Bela Fleck’s documentary film, Throw Down Your Heart, was premiered at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival in Austin, TX. SXSW is a 5 day festival that is a combination of trade show and festival for music, film and interactive media. The festival includes all the workshops, panels, mentor sessions, etc. that you would expect from a trade show. In addition, over 250 independent films were screened during the course of those five days.

Throw Down Your Heart was entered in the Documentary Feature category. While it didn’t win the jury award for its category, it did win the fan’s choice award called 24 Beats Per Second. This award is for the fan’s favorite music-themed filmed at the event. The award title is taken from the number of film frames displayed in one second of film footage, 24.

Bela’s brother Sascha Paladino, who served as the film’s director, commented on the warm reception the film received at the festival.

[An] amazing thing that happened during our premiere was that after some of the musical performances within the film, the audience burst into applause. It was really exciting, like everyone was at a live concert. I don’t think that would have happened at another festival… We’re thrilled that we premiered at SXSW.

Bela stated in an interview with Variety magazine that he hoped the win would lead to more people seeing the film.

We’re hoping that by the end of the festival season, we’ll have somebody who wants to put it, acquire it and put it out, get into the public eye, because we think it’s worth seeing.

For more information about the film (and to watch the trailer), you can read our original post, or visit the film’s website at