Do U Want It? is making its world premiere!

Hi everyone!

It’s time for another update about the film! We last updated y’all eight months ago, and a lot has happened since then. 

First and foremost, the film is done. In our last update, we said we had the goal to finish the film by September. What actually happened was we achieved a picture lock at the end of August with the story and all the elements secured in place. But we have several scenes with incredible, yet complicated animations that required more time for our amazing team of animators to finish. This being a small budget independent film, that took more time than expected. 

But we were in a good enough position to begin submitting the nearly-completed movie to film festivals. After talking with many fellow filmmakers, producers and industry folk, we made a plan for our film festival run. Our first submission was to the Sundance Film Festival and we followed that up with SXSW, Tribeca, San Francisco International, and many more. While we didn't have the opportunity to debut in Park City this January, we are proud to announce that the completed Do U Want It? has been accepted into three film festivals (so far) and will have its world premiere as part of the 2017 Bare Bones International Film & Music Festival in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The festival takes place during the weekend of April 18-23. The premiere will be on Friday April 21 at 12:00 PM at the Roxy Theater. So if you want to see the movie in its first public showing, come on down to Oklahoma with us! :)

After four years of hard work poured into this project, a little validation is feeling great. But this is just the beginning. Now that the film is completed we are so excited to share it with you, the community who has nurtured this project, and the rest of the world.

We view the premiere at Bare Bones as the beginning of a long film festival run. We’re currently in consideration at 20 other film festivals, both domestic and international. And there are many other festivals on our radar that we have yet to apply to. Our plan is to be on the road with the film throughout the rest of 2017 and possibly further into next year because we want to tell the story of Papa Grows Funk - and the story of the fans who danced and sweat with them every Monday night - far and wide! 

So please come out to support the film when there is a screening; whether that's our hometown premiere (we are coming for you New Orleans) or road tripping to catch a screening, the film needs your continued support as we try to reach the widest audience possible. For now, a festival screening will be the best opportunity for you folks to see Do U Want It? as the film won't be available publicly until after we wrap our festival run. We fully intend to distribute the film, although whether that is with the help of a distributor or by ourselves, only time (and the support of good folks like you) will tell. 

If you haven’t yet, it would be great if everyone helped us build our Facebook audience by giving our page a “like" and by commenting and sharing our posts. Facebook will be the best way to keep in touch with the film and stay up to date with major announcements and information on screenings. For instance, if you check out the Facebook page right now, you’ll see a brand new teaser video! And we are actively working on supplying more original content to the page including unseen performances of PGF, interviews with the band, and behind-the-scenes footage of the film. We know you want to see this movie, so please share the love and tell your mothers, tell your sisters, and don’t forget to tell your sister’s boyfriend’s little brothers about the film! 

That’s it for now y’all! Know we continue to work hard on this project every single day, and we cannot wait for all of you to see the movie soon. Do reach out if you have any questions. You can always reach us at:

Josh -

Sam -


Josh and Sam

A big update!

Greetings everyone!

This is a big update with some exciting announcements (and a sneak peak teaser), so make sure you read all the way through! :)

First, I want to acknowledge that we haven’t sent an update to our supporters in a very long time. Sam and I want to start this message by apologizing for our lack of communication. Many of you have reached out to us over the preceding months to check in, and we greatly appreciate you doing so. Your support means a lot to us.

The good news is this project is not dead, far from it! For the past three years, Sam and I have forged ahead on the editing front. This is the first time either of us have made a feature-length documentary, and we also did not foresee the post production process taking so long, but to set some expectations, making a feature-length documentary is a huge undertaking!  And for the most part, Sam and I have taken on this enormous task on our own while balancing making an income in our respective freelance filmmaking careers. 

I want to catch everyone up on the milestones we’ve hit and what’s left to come. Around March of 2015 we finally finished our first rough cut of the film. This meant taking over 100 hours of footage and distilling it into a cohesive, viewable narrative. Albeit, our first rough cut was over two and a half hours long! We hosted two intimate, private viewing sessions to get feedback and a few months later had a rough cut version 2. After more feedback and editing, by October, 2015 we had a rough cut version 3 sitting just over two hours long. 

At this point, Sam and I felt our ability to continue editing was seriously impaired by how close to the project we were. It was time to bring in outside help. We hired Manuel Tsingaris, a seasoned documentary editor (a movie he cut, Alive Inside, won the Audience Award at Sundance in 2014!). With Manuel’s wonderful guidance and direction we made a version 4 and shortly after a version 5. The movie is now 94 minutes long, totally watchable, and the story/narrative arc feels nearly locked in.

At this point, there are many exciting developments. First, we have officially decided on a name for the film! 

The Papa Grows Funk documentary will be called Do U Want It? When you see the movie, you’ll understand how thematically relevant this title is. 

Here’s a little teaser video Sam edited to get you guys excited! 

Second, we’ve brought on two incredible Producers to the team. Rachael Ponn, a fellow Northwestern Medill School of Journalism graduate, is a do-it-all kind of person. With Rachael on board, our communication will increase from here on out! She’s going to be leading our marketing and outreach, building and sustaining our social media presence. She’s also doing what a good Producer does - everything necessary to make the project happen. 

Alex Mallonee is our other Producer new to the team. He’s in charge of creating and implementing a strategy for our upcoming run through film festivals and distribution afterwards. Alex is a talented Director himself and a frequent collaborator of mine. Right now Alex and I are tapping into our network talking to fellow filmmakers about best practices for pushing a film through film festivals and beyond. If any of you have guidance or connections you can share with us, that would be so appreciated! 

We have the highest of hopes for Do U Want It? This isn’t just a little passion project. We want to get into the biggest film festivals and win awards. We want as many people as possible to watch the movie and get inspired by Papa Grows Funk and New Orleans. In our best case scenario, we will begin submitting the film to festivals this fall and winter and hopefully the film will premiere next spring or summer! 

But the film is still not finished, and our goal is to complete Do U Want It? by this September. There are many things still to be done from find a few more archival photos, get our music mixed, finish our animations, and get the film colored.

We are also exploring taking on an Executive Producer and/or a sales agent to help with distribution. We’d love someone with influence to watch and endorse the film, so any help here would be great. 

Sam and I are basically working full time on the film right now, and we feel the momentum building and we see the finish line. Or a finish line. The more filmmakers I talk to, the more I realize all the different routes a film can take and how long this journey is. 

If you’ve made it this far, thank you so much! You clearly care about the project. Again, apologies for our lack of communication. We promise to keep everyone in the loop from here on out. 

If you haven’t already, like our Facebook page or follow us on Instagram/Twitter to stay connected to the project!

Thank you all for your continued support. We will definitely need more of it over the coming months. Don’t hesitate to reach out for any reason! :)

Stay funky,
Josh and Sam

We got a Jazz Fest grant!

We are super thrilled to announce that The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation has awarded The Papa Grows Funkumentary one of its Community Partnership Grants. 

We worked on the grant application this summer for almost a month, and applied under the "Documentation and Preservation" category. Shout out to our awesome attorney Mike Frisch, who pointed out the grant application to me a few months ago. 

We felt like we fit the category perfectly, as our film both documents and will preserve New Orleans culture. 

In our application we spoke about Papa Grows Funk's legacy and their impact and importance on the musical community of New Orleans. It's good to know the Foundation agreed with us. :)

We requested $5,000, the full amount of the grant, and were awarded $1,500. The committee told us there were many amazing applicants and awardees, and rarely do they allocate the full request. Plus, we've already raised a lot of money, so they probably took that into account. 

Regardless, we are so excited to be an awardee and for the publicity it will hopefully bring the film!

The money will go towards our animator Jimmy Tancill and our sound engineer Eric Heigle as everyone continues editing the film!

- Josh and Sam