“The pursuit of music is basically the pursuit of oneself…a very spiritual undertaking.” —Rick Kilburn
Recently it has been a sunny international surprise for a special team from Nanaimo, Canada. A made-for-TV/YouTube short documentary produced by Kerilie McDowall, a volunteer from the local community channel Shaw Spotlight, has been selected as a finalist at the invite-only Season 6 jellyFEST Film Festival in Hollywood, USA, in the Documentary Short category.
SHAW Spotlight community access producer Kerilie McDowall released the mini-documentary, “In the Zone: Rick Kilburn,” last March. Kerilie is a regular volunteer host with other shows on Shaw Spotlight. One of those shows is “Coast Connections,” which she has directed as a volunteer for five years under supervisor Cameron McLean, SHAW Spotlight Producer Todd Jones and the rest of the SHAW Spotlight team. The short film “In the Zone: Rick Kilburn,” received an Honourable Mention at the Independent Shorts Awards, and shortly afterward McDowall received an invite to jellyFEST Film Festival, a Hollywood festival for film industry professionals and invitees.
The mini-doc was filmed in Qualicum, BC, on Vancouver Island in 2019 and was completed on March 10, 2020, and released just in time during the COVID-19 crisis on March 17, 2020. McDowall almost lost the opportunity to release the film and was lucky to complete it before the pandemic hit hard. “This film was made possible only due to the SHAW Spotlight team. We had to really push it to get it completed before the pandemic shutdown of Canada. I am grateful that SHAW Spotlight made it happen. It’s a short documentary with a wonderfully uplifting feel to it and Rick Kilburn is completely inspirational and clever and passes along beautifully perfect wisdom.”
BC’s Kerilie McDowall is a guitar instructor and the owner of Canadian Online Guitar Lessons and is a former Vancouver jazz and pop guitarist. Praised as “a very talented musician,” by Guitar Player magazine, she’s a US-award-winning radio host/producer and was #1 globally on google on Player FM with her former Nanaimo jazz radio podcast Rhythm’a’ning. She is currently a Polaris Music Prize juror and a recent JUNO Awards judge always on the hunt for excellent musical talent. As a former DownBeat jazz magazine writer and music critic who judged the DownBeat Critics Poll, McDowall has worked extensively on the international scene with top jazz artists from around the globe.
Inspired by interviewing the US jazz documentary Film Director Judy Chaikin of The Girls In the Band on radio, and by the gifted work of local SHAW Spotlight mentor Todd Jones, McDowall was permitted to film through SHAW for SHAW Spotlight’s Community Producers. She decided to produce a ten-minute mini-documentary to highlight the extraordinary talent of local island multi-JUNO and multi-award winner jazz bassist and producer Rick Kilburn. Kilburn who performed, recorded, and toured with Dave Brubeck, touring also with Chet Baker, Mose Allison, and many countless others, has owned several recording studios performing and recording with the elite of the jazz world. Kilburn currently runs a mobile production and engineering service.
McDowall says, “I am excited to see where this will lead and want to thank Rick Kilburn. I am very proud of our SHAW Spotlight team of volunteers and SHAW’s exceptionally talented and gifted staff who made this possible for me. I can’t thank them enough, they inspire me continually — they are my second family.”
SHAW Spotlight and music fans can watch the short film, In the Zone: Rick Kilburn directed by Kerilie McDowall here:
The following link features an article from McDowall with additional information about Rick Kilburn from INSPIRED magazine
January 23, 2021