Local Documentary Explores Music Scene

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Music-industry students to release movie at Gateway Film Center

On Saturday, April 28, Gateway Film Center will debut “Homegrown: Becoming a Music City,” a documentary created by students at Groove U, a two-year music-industry entrepreneurship school in Dublin. The film explores Columbus’ music scene through interviews with local industry professionals and artists, like Jared Mahone, The Floorwalkers and Angela Perley & the Howlin’ Moons, among many others.

The documentary, filmed over a six-month span, was the capstone project for several second-year students, led by Austin Finley and Ryan Anderson. Both are aspiring music professionals, Finley as a singer-songwriter and Anderson as a producer. Finley served as the movie’s writer, and Anderson was the primary videographer and editor.

The two students say that interviews with the city’s musical talent revealed a deeply interconnected and collaborative scene. They also found the city to be very supportive, the type of place where independent artists can build themselves up from nothing, Anderson says. There’s room for growth, Finley says, but the scene is headed in the right direction.

“I’m not sure that anything really needs to change,” Finley says. “I think it’s just a matter of continuing to grind it out like we are doing, and I think we’ll see that kind of large improvement in the next five years or so.”

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Finley credits the scene’s progress in part to the support of organizations like the Greater Columbus Arts Council and the Columbus Music Commission. As covered in the April issue of Columbus Monthly, CMC is a grassroots organization founded in late 2016 to further promote and develop the local music industry and generate financial support from both the city and the business community. (Dwight Heckelman, the director of Groove U, also serves on CMC’s board.)

The hour-long “Homegrown” film features interviews with many people who have worked to build up the local industry to this point, including venue owners, audio engineers, booking agents and bands like MojoFlo and Doc Robinson. Elementary Records, Groove U’s student-run label, will officially release the film for a screening at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Gateway. Check out the trailer below.