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Rock N Roll Mamas

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Rock N Roll Mamas Coming to LA in October

Posted by: Jackie Weissman

We are very proud to announce that the film has been selected to screen in The LA Femme Film Festival in Los Angeles, October 17-20.

Rock N Roll Mamas will be showing in LA on Sat., Oct. 19th from 10-noon at LA LIVE Regal Theatre Stadium 14, 1000 West Olympic Blvd. Two short films will precede Rock N Roll Mamas.

Presale tickets are available here, or  can be purchased at the door!

Hope to see as many of our LA friends at the screening!  I will be there as well so please come by and say hello;  I love seeing friendly faces.

I’d also love it if you can share the details of the screening with your friends and folks you think would be interested; we’d love to pack the house if possible.

Thanks so much for your support.


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Busy Summer for Rock N Roll Mamas Thus Far

Posted by: Jackie Weissman

Hi All,

I apologize for not blogging in a while.  A lot has been going on with the film and life and its taken me a bit to get down to writing.   Now let me share with you about Rock N Roll Mamas exciting summer and what all has been going on with the film.

First off, let me just say thank you to all who came out to the sold out screening of Rock N Roll Mamas in NYC in June!  Great day and great screening!  I was thrilled to have a NYC screening and to have it be sold out in the middle of the afternoon was just so sweet.  Thanks again!

This summer I have also been approaching broadcasters and distributors about the film and I’m happy to say that there is some interest so I will definitely keep you posted on how this all progresses.

Rock N Roll Mamas is having another Portland, OR screening on Wednesday, August 28th at 7pm at the Whitsell Auditorium in the Portland Art Museum.

This screening is part of the NW FilmCenter’s NW Tracking series.  I am very honored and grateful to the FilmCenter for choosing the film to be in it.  Tickets are available here, and at the door.

Right now there are no other Portland screenings in the works so if you live here and haven’t seen the film but want to, come on down on August 28th!  I’ll be there and will do a question and answer at the end.  Come on by and say hi!

There will definitely be some more screening/festival announcements for the film in other parts of the country in the near future so keep a look out!

Yesterday, I had a fun chat with Sean and Jenny on their podcast, In One Day!  So much fun to chat about music, talk about Rock N Roll Mamas, and promote the upcoming screening in August.  Thanks for having me on!  Take a listen to the show; it’s a lot of fun and they certainly know their stuff.

Take good care and have a great rest of your summer.

As always, thanks for all of your support.


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Save the Date: Rock N Roll Mamas screening on August 28th at 7pm in Portland, OR as Part of nw FilmCenter’s Northwest Tracking Series

Posted by: Jackie Weissman

For those of you who missed the preview screening in March, or just want to see the newly completed film with credit and music changes, please come to the screening of Rock N Roll Mamas on August 28th at 7pm at The Whitsell Auditorium in the Portland Art Museum.  I, Jackie Weissman, the director, will be present after the screening for a Q and A.   Please save the date.

Tickets will be on sale for this screening shortly.

I am proud that Rock N Roll Mamas was chosen to screen as part of nw Film Center’s Northwest Tracking Series.

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Rock N Roll Mamas showing in Colorado Springs over Memorial Day Weekend

Posted by: Jackie Weissman

Hi All,

If you are in Colorado this Memorial Day weekend, go see Rock N Roll Mamas!  It’s going to show at 7pm on May 25th as part of the MeadowGrass Music Festival in Colorado Springs.

Original Rock Mama, Kristin Hersh, will be playing the festival at 5pm on the Main Stage that day.  After her performance, Rock N Roll Mamas will show at the Ponderosa Lodge in La Foret (where the festival takes place).  Kristin  will participate in a Q and A following the film and I, Jackie Weissman, the director, will also Skype in for that.

Should be a great event!  Excited to participate in this amazing festival.  Tickets are available here if you want to go,

Hope you can make it!

Take care.


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Invisible Women Who Rock

Posted by: Jackie Weissman

This is a blog post I wrote with a fellow documentary filmmaker, Karen Whitehead.  It was featured on the Women In Hollywood Blog today, May 9, 2013.

We are both filmmakers launching documentaries featuring different generations of women pursuing their artistic vision in the predominantly male bastion of rock and roll. And of course, the challenges of telling these invisible stories in the predominantly male bastion of film are much the same — which is an irony not lost on both of us.  Here are each of our stories:


I first met Kristin Hersh of Throwing Muses eight years ago, on her tour bus, an hour after she used a pair of pliers to pull out her own tooth. She told me this story while calmly soothing her two year old child. My initial reaction was “Wow! Who does that?” “My second reaction was “this woman is pure punk rock; I wish I had filmed that.”

And so began an almost decade long adventure creating the documentary Rock N Roll Mamas. For the next six years I followed musician/mothers Kristin Hersh, Zia McCabe of The Dandy Warhols, and hip hop artist, Ms.Su’ad as they toured and performed, went to play dates, and juggled childcare. It is a mixture that isn’t the glamorous life we imagine when we think of rock musi­cians, it’s the reality of being a mom and a musician.

I made the film to shed light on these women’s seemingly invisible experiences and because their experiences mirrored my own as a filmmaker/mother. Like the alternative music scene, documentary filmmaking can be a costly and often thankless endeavor. Here, I had the added challenge of long term storytelling which meant I needed to find the persistence, time, and money to keep following these women year after year while their stories unfolded. I am proud to have completed a film that that strikes a chord in all who see it, and especially in women, artists, music lovers, and parents of all stripes.

However, even though I am hustling every day to get it out it further into the world, the ultimate reach of the film is uncertain. Distribution is up in the air and obtaining clearance for broadcast, theatrical, and DVD/digital download rights are frankly unaffordable for an independent filmmaker. In this way, documentary filmmaking can be like “pulling teeth,” but without the punk rock edge.

Like the rock moms who inspired me, I’ll do what I need to do. Hopefully, this film will be an inspiration for contemporaries with other hidden women’s stories to tell. But when will we get these stories told without pulling teeth?


They all said that I shouldn’t make  make this film. But I could not walk away from Jini Dellaccio’s story despite the huge challenge I knew I would face getting it funded. I was captivated by the courage and talent of a woman who pursued her own indie vision and never allowed fear of being unknown or operating in a male dominated environment to limit her choices.

Her Aim Is True documents Jini Dellaccio’s seminal artistry in the early 60s rock and roll scene coupled with her fascinating life story first from jazz saxophone player with all girl groups in the 1930s to self-taught photographer in the 1950s. She did all this before shooting album covers in her middle-age for some of America’s original punk rockers (The Wailers and The Sonics) and live performances by legendary musicians including The Who and Mitch Ryder. As an early documentarian of the Pacific Northwest’s distinctive music subculture, Jini just went about her artistry undeterred, and clearly with no thoughts of fame. Her story is the rarely documented and unsexy professionalism of a great photographer.

I found myself discovering myself in the process of uncovering Jini’s story. I was motivated by the anonymity of a woman artist in her 90s with a forgotten archive and my own relative obscurity as an indie filmmaker. There was something about the parallel lives of invisible women behind cameras that struck a chord. This is how I built the production and with it, the sustaining community around my film. But there is no escaping the missing link between stories and audiences because of the daunting demands of post -production and distribution.

Jini’s story will now be revealed at this year’s Seattle International Film Festival, but my journey to reach wider audiences is just beginning.


JACKIE WEISSMAN is the owner of Rock Mama Films, LLC and a freelance Director/Producer/Editor in Portland, Oregon.

KAREN WHITEHEAD is British independent filmmaker based in Washington DC. Her Aim Is True will have its world premiere at Seattle International Film Festival May 2013.

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Rock N Roll Mamas Portland Preview

Posted by: Jackie Weissman

Image courtesy of Amy McMullen Photography

It’s been a little over a month now since Rock N Roll Mamas Portland Preview.   So much has happened since that wonderful night.  I finally have some time to sit  down and blog about it.

On March 7, 2013, Rock N Roll Mamas previewed on the opening night for the Portland Women’s Film Festival (POW Fest).  The film showed to a packed house which was so thrilling for me.  Zia McCabe and I did a great question and answer afterwards with moderator, Courtney Hameister.  I couldn’t have asked for a better first public screening for the film.  Thank you so much to POW Fest for showing the film and thank you to everyone that attended.  I was so touched to see so many people from all aspects of my life there.  Thank you so much for your continued support of the film.

Image courtesy of Amy McMullen Photography

Courtesy of Amy McMullen Photography

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Portland Preview Screening tomorrow night!

Posted by: Jackie Weissman

Hi All,

I’m very excited about the Portland Preview screening of Rock N Roll Mamas tomorrow night at the opening night of POWFest.  I’ve got a killer dress, got my nails done, my hair cut and colored, and most importantly watched the film on the big screen at the Hollwyood and was very pleased; I’m completely ready to go!

I am super privileged to have so much local press surrounding the event.  I feel like I’ve been talking about myself and the film nonstop for the last week.  Who knew talking was so tiring?

Tonight I’ll be on the local news, Live at 7, on Portland’s channel 8, KGW, talking about the film and POWFest.  That should be interesting to say in the least.  But look for me if you can.  I’ll be more comfortable on camera if I know folks are rooting for me (I’m more comfortable behind the camera, I’m afraid.)

I think I’ll take a Rock N Roll Mamas little break after the screening.  After that though, I’ll be back to posting and talking and getting the film out there so more folks can see it.  Tomorrow Portland, starting next week, the rest of the United States, and then the world!

Look out, here comes Rock N Roll Mamas!


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Rock N Roll Mamas is on Blu Ray

Posted by: Jackie Weissman

Today I watched a blu ray copy of Rock N Roll Mamas at Rex Post and it looks fantastic.  I’m very happy!  This blu ray is what I will screen at the film’s Portland Preview on March 7th.

Credits for the film still need to be finalized and I’ve decided to uprez the film to HD.  This process won’t happen until after the March 7th screening.  However, I’m overjoyed with how the film looks now and that it was able to be made into a blu ray (there was concern that it wouldn’t look good in this format since its SD).  Little did you know how much goes into making a film presentable…

No more technical talk now, I promise.  I have a blu ray of Rock N Roll Mamas which looks incredible and a big smile on my face!  Yay!

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The saga continues: Finding subjects for Rock N Roll Mamas

Posted by: Jackie Weissman

After I left the artist colony armed with my proposal for Rock N Roll Mamas, I submitted it to the Hollywood Theatre  for fiscal sponsorship.  Forming my own nonprofit for the  film was not an option for me as it would have required time, energy, and money I did not have.  At the same time, I did want the film to be able to accept tax deductible donations.  Therefore, I needed a fiscal sponsor that was already a nonprofit organization.  I talked with my fellow documentary filmmaker friends for advice; with that I came to the conclusion that the Hollywood Theatre was the go to fiscal sponsor in town.  Thankfully, they accepted my project and Rock N Roll Mamas was off and running.

When I left off in my last segment, it was 2003 and I was getting ready to start filming Fern Capella, the very first rock mom filmed for Rock N Roll Mamas.  I filmed Fern locally in Portland for my first shoot and then followed her to San Francisco for a festival she was performing in.

While filming Fern in Portland at a variety show, I noticed a very dynamic young hip-hop mc performing and saw her son dancing in the audience, a very sweet toddler.  This was Ms. Su’ad.  I approached Ms. Su’ad after her performance, told her what I was doing, and asked her if she would be willing to be filmed as a part of Rock N Roll Mamas.  Su’ad agreed.

I am very fortunate to live in Portland, especially for this project.  There is a very rich music and arts scene here and the arts community is very collegial and accessible.  As such, I found my next subject, Lisa Miller, the leader of the honkey tonk/country band, Lisa and Her Kin, by the suggestion of a fellow documentary filmmaker and friend in town.

I began to create a trailer featuring these ladies that I would show at a big fundraiser event I put together at the Hollywood Theatre.  All the subjects performed at the fundraiser as well as other bands, and performers who supported the project (more proof of the amazing, supportive artistic community here in Portland, OR)  Food was donated and Rock N Roll Mamas tee-shirts were sold; it was a fun night and raised the seed money I needed for the next phase of the film.

Tune in next time for the next phase of Rock N Roll Mamas.

Thanks for reading.


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Rock N Roll Mamas: How it Began

Posted by: Jackie Weissman

Since I’m waiting to hear from festivals right now, I thought I would let you all in on how and why I began Rock N Roll Mamas way back when in 2003.

In 2003 my son was three and I was struggling with finding ways to obtain freelance work without having a consistent babysitter.  I looked for role models in the documentary film world but all the women I found with children were romantically involved with their film partners (my partner is not in film and works a lot so I  was on my own there).

I saw an article in interviewing indie rock musician moms about how they made their careers work  (Corin Tucker, Liz Phair, among others) and then it clicked for me that indie musicians are very similar to documentary filmmakers.  They travel a lot, usually have day jobs, and create art for little money.

I wanted to learn more about these rock moms I idolized.  I figured if I wanted to learn more, others probably did too.  So I started to write a proposal for Rock N Roll Mamas.

Since I had a toddler almost full-time, I desperately needed more time to work, more than my son’s two hour naps.  I applied to an artist colony for a two week stay.  Magically, I got accepted and spent two weeks during the summer there writing fervently.  At that time, this was the longest time I had been away from my son.  I am so grateful to my husband for helping me make this work; it was pivotal to my sanity and work at the time.

Most of the other artists at the colony were there for much longer, a month to two months.  They scoffed at my two week stay, saying that I probably wouldn’t be able to get anything done.  Little did they know that even a day alone for me with a space to work, my own room to sleep in, meals made for me, and beautiful paths to walk on were a major luxury for me.  Simply having time alone was huge.  I wrote my proposal in the first couple of days and then started writing essays because I was enjoying myself so much.

I was also struck at the number of men at the colony with wives at home taking care of their children while they made art.  There were a fair amount of women at the colony but hardly any of them had children.  This observation simply strengthened one of the issues I explore in Rock N Roll Mamas; it’s nearly impossible to create art, make money, and raise children unless you have support networks in place.

Before I entered the colony, I started networking with an alternative parenting magazine in Portland called Hip Mama.  I interviewed Ariel Gore, the founder, and through her found my first subject, Fern Cappella, a single mom and hip hop performance artist.

I made plans to follow Fern after I got out of the colony on her trip to San Francisco to perform.

That’s it for now.  In our next segment, I’ll introduce my original subjects and describe how I met them and started the filming process

Thanks for reading.


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Happy 2013 from Rock N Roll Mamas!

Posted by: Jackie Weissman

Happy New Year everyone from Rock N Roll Mamas!

This year begins with some exciting news.  Rock N Roll Mamas will have its official Portland, OR preview the evening of Thursday, March 7th!

Rock N Roll Mamas will open the Portland Women’s Film Festival that night at the Hollywood Theatre!  Take a look at the festival’s webpage to learn more about their schedule.

Please save the date on your calendars and come out to support the film!  I look forward to seeing your smiling faces there!

I will updating the blog with more details about this evening as well as any other festivals the film is showing at.

Thanks so much.


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