Oscar-nominated short subject documentary 'A Concerto is a Conversation' rooted in music, family, LA history

ByGeorge Pennacchio OTRC logo
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Oscar-nominated 'A Concerto is a Conversation' rooted in music, LA history
'I think it's so important, especially in these times, to listen to our elders.' Executive producer Ava DuVernay helps bring family story of music, LA history to light in time for Oscar season with 'A Concerto is a Conversation'

HOLLYWOOD -- The Oscar nominated short subject documentary film "A Concerto is a Conversation" is rooted in Los Angeles history.

The film tells the story of Mr. Horace Bowers Sr. and his journey to becoming a successful L.A. businessman. It began long ago when he left the Jim Crow South for a better life.

His grandson, composer Kris Bowers, is co-producer and co-director of this short film.

"This is like the proudest I can be is being part of a project that brings his story to life," said Kris.

Growing up, Kris says his grandparents watched him realize his dreams.

"I started doing music competitions and things like that so, you know, they were really there for every step of the beginning of my process, for sure," said Kris.

"I always felt we have to encourage one another if we're going to make any progress, do all we can to help you move forward, find the good in a person rather than the bad," said Horace.

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Ava DuVernay, who's worked with Kris before, was immediately taken by his grandfather's story.

"It doesn't take you a long time to watch but it is still with you for a long time," said DuVernay. "You can, you know, really delve into the life of a man who is still teaching us new things every day. I think it's so important, especially in these times, to listen to our elders. They have so much to share."

Ben Proudfoot is also a co-producer and co-director on the film.

"It's very exciting to me that someone like Ava would feel the same way about the film and come aboard and help us tell the story. It's just--it doesn't get any better. It's very exciting," said Proudfoot.

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This short is a journey across generations - from an elderly man who once dared to dream, to a young man whose dreams are also coming true.

"It's a 10-minute breath of complete fresh, warm, gorgeous air and you will get more from it than you can ever imagine that a short doc will do," said DuVernay.

If you'd like to watch the film, go to nytimes.com and search "Concerto Conversation."

Mark your calendars: April 25 is Oscar Sunday. Live coverage begins Sunday morning and continues all day with special "On The Red Carpet" coverage leading up to the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony. After the last award is handed out, stay with "On The Red Carpet" for continuing coverage. Be sure to follow @OnTheRedCarpet on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok for all your Oscar news and information.