I knew Beth Toni Kruvant because she’d attended a workshop of mine in New York, and we’d worked together on her previous film, Heart of Stone. Kruvant called again about the film that would become David Bromberg Unsung Treasure. She wanted to make sure she was heading in the right direction. And indeed she was on the right path. One that lead to many screenings across the country including a broadcast on PBS/WNET on January 4, 2014.

Film Title: David Bromberg Unsung Treasure
Director/Producer: Beth Toni Kruvant
Length: 70 min.

Film Vitals
Logline: New York roots musician David Bromberg bent musical genres, and collaborated with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jerry Garcia and other greats. The film takes the first in-depth look at Bromberg’s rise to fame and contribution to music history. After a 22-year absence, Bromberg resurfaced on the heels of a successful violin-making business. The story of how this Grammy nominee created a musical renaissance in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, his adopted home, forms a vibrant and soulful narrative.

Select Festivals, Screenings, Broadcast & Awards:

  • Montclair International Film Festival, May 2012 (Premiere)
  • PBS/WNET broadcast, January 4, 2014
  • CBGB Film Festival, October 2013
  • Philadelphia Film & Music Film Festival, April 2013
  • Santa Fe Film Festival, December 2012
  • DOC NYC, November 2012
  • Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, November 2012
  • Woodstock Film Festival, October 2012
  • The Queen Theater, Wilmington, Del., October 2012
  • Winter Roots & Blues Roundup, October 2012

The Filmmaker
Film School: New York Film Academy.

Other Studies: B.A., Barnard College, J.D., Nova Law School.

For a Living:  Practiced law for 20 years, civil and criminal litigation.

Survival Strategy:  Yoga and walks in nature.

Previous Films:

  • Heart of Stone (2009, theatrical release, Showtime and TMC)
  • The Right to Be Wrong (2005, PBS affiliates nationwide)
  • Born in Buenos Aires (2003, doc short)

The Production
Production Timeline:

  • 2 years
  • Kruvant had the opportunity to interview many musicians and watch them record. She saw Dr. John talk about old times, watched Vince Gil eat pizza in his home and heard Jorma Kaukonen smile warmly and joke about Bromberg.

Shooting Locations:

  • Wilmington, Delaware
  • Woodstock, New York
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Tarrytown, New York
  • New York City

Money Talk:

  • Received 90% of the budget as donations from friends and family and proceeds from past film work.
  • Held an auction of a donated Martin guitar signed by David Bromberg on Indiegogo, which raised $10,000. Bluegrass Blog called it “an interesting twist on the crowdsourcing formula. Instead of just offering artist recordings and copies of the final product as premiums for online donors, they are entering all their small investors into a raffle to win a Martin D-16 guitar, autographed by David.”
  • Kruvant realized early that filming a musician would require extensive rights clearances, which can be hard on the budget, but she focused on the story every step of the way to help her stay in control of her schedule and the budget.

Will She Relapse and Make Another Film?
Probably. Kruvant is busy letting ideas percolate — and enjoying the moment.

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Published by

Fernanda Rossi
Fernanda Rossi collaborates with filmmakers in all areas of storytelling, from development to fine cut. As an author, international speaker and story analyst she has doctored over 300 documentaries, fiction scripts and fundraising samples, including two nominated for an Academy Award®. Author of Trailer Mechanics: How to Make Your Documentary Fundraising Demo. More info at www.documentarydoctor.com. Follow Fernanda at facebook.com/storydoctoring.