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Busy Summer for Rock N Roll Mamas Thus Far

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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Tickets now on sale for Rock N Roll Mamas at Manhattan Film Festival

Rock N Roll Mamas will be showing at The Manhattan Film Festival
Thursday, June 27th at 1pm
Quad Cinema
34 West 13th St.
New York, New York

Tickets are $11 each and can be purchased by going to this link:

Hope you can make it!



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Invisible Women Who Rock

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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The saga continues: Finding subjects for Rock N Roll Mamas

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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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Happy 2013 from Rock N Roll Mamas!

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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