Screening to be Held at Historic Ziegfeld Theater in Manhattan



NEW YORK -- Wetlands Preserved, the forthcoming documentary film about the celebrated downtown New York rock club Wetlands will close the inaugural Green Apple Music & Arts Festival, the biggest Earth Day event to be held in the U.S. in 2006.

Wetlands Preserved will have its world premiere at the historic Ziegfeld Theatre in Midtown Manhattan at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 23rd, and will serve as both the closing film of the first Green Apple Film Festival and the final event in the Green Apple Music & Arts Festival. A limited amount of tickets will go on sale to the general public on Tuesday, April 11 at noon at www.relix.com/wetlandsmovie.

The directorial debut from writer/editor/deejay Dean Budnick, Wetlands Preserved salutes a rock club celebrated for its eclectic bookings and political and environmental activism. Hailed as "a landmark rock club" by Rolling Stone and often described as "the Fillmore of the 90s," The Wetlands is considered the very womb and birthplace of the modern day jamband scene.

From 1989 to 2001, The Wetlands provided a stage for everyone from tiny ska and hardcore bands to future stars of rock and hip-hop. Pearl Jam, Oasis and Rage Against the Machine played their first New York City shows there, and the likes of Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors and Phish turned the venue into a mecca for live, improvisational rock music. Simultaneously, the club itself provided a headquarters for working groups for social and environmental advocacy. Forced out of its downtown Manhattan home when its lease expired, the club closed prematurely in the wake of 9/11, just days before its scheduled finale.

The New York Times called the closing a "major loss for music lovers," and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame proudly made display space available for the infamous Volkswagen microbus that once rested near the club's front door.

Through accounts of musicians, staffers and clubgoers, Wetlands Preserved explores the club's legend, providing a full account of its rich history for the first time. While the independent nightclub supported new music scenes while also initiating successful activism campaigns, it also emerged over its 13 years as a proving ground and nurturing environment for numerous notable acts who built a fan base and gained renown at the club. Many of these riveting performances appear in Wetlands Preserved, which exclusively incorporates music that originated at The Wetlands. In addition to the Dave Matthews Band, Blues Traveler, Phish, and Pearl Jam, Wetlands Preserved also features songs from such artists as Ani DiFranco, Sublime, Ben Harper, moe., 311, Randolph & the Family Band, KRS-1, Joan Osborne, Fishbone, Agnostic Front and Michael Franti & Spearhead.

Wetlands Preserved is the first feature-length film produced in conjunction with the RES Media Group, which stands at the vanguard of digital filmmaking. Wetlands Preserved features the work of more than a dozen animators, selected by RES to breathe new life into still photography and recreate the essence of the Wetlands live music experience.

"I can't imagine a more fitting setting for our film to premiere than the Green Apple Music and Arts Festival," says director Budnick. "The Wetlands Preserve maintained a passionate commitment to both grassroots music and social activism, at times throwing caution, fashion and profit to the wind. To be able to share that story on the closing night of this festival in the club's home city is deeply gratifying."

Produced by Peter Shapiro and Relix Magazine, The Green Apple Music & Arts Festival is dedicated to expanding the outreach of Earth Day, and is happening in conjunction with Earth Day New York, a nonprofit organization. The Green Apple Music & Arts Festival is being held April 20th-April 23rd in more than 30 of New York's top music venues. The festival kicks off on Thursday, April 20th with the Sixth Annual Jammys awards show and all-star concert at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.

The day-long Green Apple Film Festival, being held Sunday, April 23rd at the American Museum of Natural History, is being presented in partnership with RES Media Group.

The inaugural Green Apple Film Festival will include a combination of features (HBO Films' Too Hot Not to Handle, director Chris Metzger's Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea) and such short films as Forest Cleaning (director Simon Robinson), Alien Invasion (Hank Perlman), Badgered (Sharon Coleman), What I Know About Stem Cells (Richard Fenwick), the Chemical Brothers movie Believe and Letter to the President (David Ellis), among several others. For a full list of films to be screened during the Green Apple Film Festival, visit: www.greenapplemusicfestival.com

Director of Wetlands Preserved, Dean Budnick is Senior Editor of Relix Magazine, the founder of Jambands.com and the co-founder of the annual Jammys Awards. Budnick is the host of a weekly show on XM Satellite radio and has written three books on improvisational music. Budnick first stepped foot into The Wetlands in 1989 while pursuing his law degree at New York's Columbia University. He continued to visit the club over the intervening decade as he earned his Ph.D. from Harvard University's History of American Civilization program. Budnick's doctoral dissertation focused on the life and work of silent film star Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle.

Peter Shapiro, co-creator of The Jammys and chief of Ideal Entertainment, is the former owner and operator of the influential and respected downtown rock club The Wetlands Preserve. Shapiro is a celebrated filmmaker whose credits include the critically acclaimed IMAX concert film All Access and Chick Corea's Rendezvous in New York DVD box set.

For more information on Green Apple Music & Arts go to www.greenapplemusicfestival.com

[Published on: 4/9/06]

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MikesGroover starstarstarstar Tue 4/11/2006 03:43PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I hope that Vern makes it into the documentary, along with some footage from downstairs, where all the interesting activities seemed to take place. Congrats to Dean for documenting the history of this amazing little space that did so much for the jam band community before the scene blew up. RIP Wetlands, it was a great ride.

yankee starstarstarstar Wed 4/12/2006 05:50AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I started going for the dead-band Tuesdays, and ended up stating for everything else. If it wasn't for the Wetlands I don't know if I would have ever been able to meet so many good people and experience so many great bands on their way up. The closing of The wetlands left me looking for other places to go three to four days a week. MikesGroover is right on when he says, "it was a great ride". I was just happy to be a part of it.

Solace starstarstarstar Sun 5/7/2006 05:44PM
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Especially for the time-period it was there, the Wetlands was a special home for a lot of people. Bridging the gap from pre-Internet to post-Dead life, it was an amazing place to meet like-minded people in the chaotic mess of NYC. As someone just out of high-school, it was a great launching pad for the start of a long line of experiences, musical and otherwise. I'll be real glad to get a copy of this film, as soon as it is available.