Morgan Dews Films

Morgan Dews is the award winning director of Must Read After My Death and the new film Friends of Paco. He is currently developing Up Bear Creek, a series about growing up in wild in the Santa Cruz mountains in the seventies.

Friends of Paco

Morgan and his friends video taped their bohemian existence in Barcelona for years. Out of this footage he creates a feverish trip to the land of eternal youth, a tone poem on friendship and love, and, at the same time, on the workings of death. In it’s images, Merton and his friends are smiling, happy and carefree. But behind this visible aspect of life there is something else that we cannot see, but just feel. It’s a sort of subtle, invisible wave of sadness, like a requiem for something gone. Tempus fugit, amor manet – Time takes all away, except love. 

Part love letter to a grittier Barcelona of the nineties and aughts, part road movie, Friends of Paco is an autobiography of modern bohemian expatriate. It’s the story of a bunch of misfit foreigners washed up like flotsam on the shores of Barcelona who forge a family of otherness in their youth and then, as time goes by, discover it isn’t enough. So, like any good family, they try and marry off the children, with mixed results.

coming soon

friendsofpaco.com

Up Bear Creek

a narrative series about growing up wild in the Santa Cruz mountains in the seventies.

Must Read After My Death

a film about Allis. watch below

made Roger Ebert’s top 10 documentaries of 2009 –  “I’ve never seen anything like it.” – Roger Ebert

 

Filmmaker Morgan Dews was close to his grandmother Allis, but it wasn’t until after her death in 2001 that he became aware of an astounding archive she’d amassed throughout the 1960s. Filled with startlingly intimate and candid audio recordings detailing her family’s increasingly turbulent lives, the collection also contained hundreds of silent home movies, photographs and written journals. Using only these found materials, Dews has fashioned a searing family portrait that affords fly-on-the-wall access to one family’s struggles amid an America on the verge of dramatic transformation.

Must Read After My Death follows Allis, her husband Charley, and their four children in Hartford, Connecticut. Charley’s work takes him to Australia four months out of the year, so the couple purchases Dictaphone recorders to stay in touch throughout his extended absences. Allis, a modern woman at least a decade ahead of her time, struggles against conformity – against the conventional roles of wife and mother. She finds the recordings cathartic and with the family’s cooperation, incorporates them into their everyday existence. When the family turns to psychologists and psychiatrists, their strife increases and the recordings turn progressively darker – even desperate. All the while, Dews employs the family’s many home movies and the seemingly placid, typically American façade that they convey, as visual counterpoint to the raw and sobering tape recordings.

Composer and recording artist Paul Damian Hogan of Frances has created a lush and engrossing score. Renowned Design Director, Lisa Kwon, fashioned stellar graphics and animated sequences for the film.  Alison Bourke of This Film is Not Yet Rated and Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession brought her Executive Producer powers. Brett Graves mixed the sound at Creative Bubble. Mark Lipsky and Brain and Brook Devine of Gigantic Film brought the film forward to the public.

Written, produced, directed, and edited by Morgan Dews.

Mostly hidden away in his New York apartment, armed with his hard-drives, Morgan emerged when Must Read After My Death began to look better than terrible. Soliciting help from his friends MRAMD came into its own. 

It had an amazing theatrical release thanks to all the hands that helped.

 

awards

International Grand Prix at FID Marseille

Golden Magnolia at Shanghai TV fest

Best 1st Doc at DocLisboa

Gala opening film at FATP Brussels

Audience Award in Florence

Special Mention in Pamplona

Special Mention in Florence

 

shortlisted for Independent Spirit Award, “Truer Than Fiction”

runner up for FIPRESCI critics prize at Viennale

 

theatrical release 2009

New York City Quad Cinema, Feb. 19-26

Los Angeles Laemmle’s Sunset 5 Feb. 27- Mar. 5

 

festival screenings

2007

Mostra de Sao Paulo 3  M

IDFA 3 Amsterdam M

2008

Punto de Vista, Pamplona 2  M

1st Special Mention, Jury

Singapore 1

Visions du Reél 1 Nyon

Hot Docs 2 Toronto M

European Media Art Festival 2

Documenta Madrid 2

EDOC

Huesca de Cine 1

Los Angeles Film Festival 3 M

FIDMarseille

GRAND PRIX International Competition 2008

Vancouver  2 hd Morgan Q&A

Docupolis 1  Barcelona

UnderDox 1 Munich

Ghent  3

Montreal New Cinema 2 hd M

Ourense  2

Cork  1

Lausanne Underground 2

Hamptons 2 Morgan Q&A

Docslisboa 3

Odiessea Award for 1st Documentary

Chicago  2 hd Morgan Q&A

BFI’s London Film Fest 3 hd

Viennale 1 – Vienna

runner up for FIPRESCI prize

Jihlava 1

Mar de Plata 2  Buenos Aires

CPH:DOX 3 copenhagen

Denver Film Festival  2

Filmer à tout prix  2 Brussels M

Opening Film

Festival dei Popoli  2 M

Audience Award and Jury Special Mention

Zinebi Bilbao

Stuttgarter Filmwinter 1

DocPoint Helsinki

DocsBarcelona 2 Morgan Q&A

2009

UCLA screening 2/26

Stranger Than Fiction 2/3/09 Morgan Q&A

Punta de Vista – Again! ’09

ZagrebDox 2/23 – 3/1

USA Film Festival Morgan Q&A

Mar de Plata Travelling Exposition

Transilvania IFF 5/29 – 7/6

Shanghai TV Festival 6/8 – 6/12 Morgan Q&A

Golden Magnolia Prize

Era New Horizons (Wroclaw) – 7/23 – 8/  Morgan Q&A

Sichuan TV Festival (Chengdu)11/6-11/8M

2010

Filmer L’invisible, Centre Pompidou, 11/20

2012

Full Frame programmed by Ross McElwee

Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival

 

Must Read After My Death

Contact

morgandews@gmail.com