The 3rd Annual Atlanta Shorts Fest will be held Friday, Sept. 14, through Sunday, Sept. 16, at the Goat Farm Arts Center in Atlanta, and is part of Independent Film Month. Independent Film Month takes place during the entire month of September and showcases over 300 films from across the world.
"Randy Parsons: American Luthier” has had an impressive film festival run, with ASF being just one the many the film festivals that have selected Aldrich's debut documentary for screening. The journey began in October 2011 when the film premiered at the ITSA Film Festival in California, and won the Jury Award for Best Documentary. The film has been an official selection in more than thirty festivals in the United States, Canada, France, England, Australia and Korea -- and its cinematography has been recognized with a recent nomination and an award.
Aldrich's short documentary showcases the journey and talents of Randy Parsons, whose hand-crafted guitars stand out as works of art in an industry where major manufacturers have moved to computer-controlled mass production techniques. The days of a highly-skilled worker making an instrument from beginning to end have largely passed, but Parsons' insistence on using hand tools and traditional techniques has given him a distinct advantage: Parsons can build anything his customers dream up, and he doesn't have to recalibrate million dollar machines to do it.
"American Luthier" recounts Parsons' transformation from aspiring musician to guitar-maker. The guitar had been Parsons' identity since he was a child, but after studying classical and jazz guitar in college, he realized that he would never make a living as a musician. So he gave it up -- and then one day he had a vision of how the guitar would come back into his life. Now he's creating instruments that are highly sought after works of art by musicians such as Jack White and Jimmy Page.
When asked why he thinks his film has become a festival circuit favorite, Aldrich says, "There is universal appeal for the beauty of handmade objects. Handmade objects speak to us on many levels, whether it's because of an object's exceptional craftsmanship, the unique attributes inherent in something that is not mass produced, or simply an appreciation for something that is extrordinary and rare. Parsons is making one of rock and roll's most iconic instrument -- by hand -- and his passion is obvious in the film. Audiences have been inspired by Parsons' story and his commitment to preserve the art of making guitars."