Blues on Beale

Big Ambitions. Bigger Hearts. Better World.
Blues acts come from around the world to compete for top honors in the 36th Annual International Blues Challenge held in Memphis, Tennessee. It is the last event of its kind before Covid 19 put the world on hold. Experience 5 days of rocking, crowd pumping Blues competition packed with passion, music, and suspense. Discover the people who keep The Blues alive and the powerful international impact of America’s musical gift to the world.

  • Larry Lancit
    Director
    Reading Rainbow, Puzzle Place, Outward Bound, Lowell Thomas Remembers, Play It Again, Uncle Sam!,
  • Cecily Lancit
    Writer
    Reading Rainbow, Ramona(based on books by Beverly Cleary), Backyard Safari, Puzzle Place,
  • Cecily Lancit, Larry Lancit, Lynne Ganek, Steve Zink, Jeffrey Ganek
    Producer
  • Bobby Rush, Shemekia Copeland, Castro Coleman, Janiva Magness, Shakura S'Aida, Mercy Morganfield
    Key Cast
    “Themselves”
    Mutiple GRAMMY winners and nominees, Blues Music Award winners and nominees, Blues Hall of Fame inductees and nominees
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 18 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    December 1, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    650,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital Video
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • None
Distribution Information
  • None
Director Biography - Larry Lancit

National Emmy Award winning Producer/Director Larry Lancit has over 40 years experience in the media business. Lancit was the founder of Lancit Media Entertainment in 1979, a successful independent production company in New York City for over 20 years during which he served as the President and COO.
Lancit Media was best known for creating and producing READING RAINBOW, winner of 16 National Daytime EMMY Awards over an 18-year period, including 7 Emmys for Best Children’s Series, and Larry Lancit’s own recognition for Best Director. Lancit Media was also responsible for other notable network series, including The PUZZLE PLACE (PBS), OUTWARD BOUND (DISCOVERY), RAMONA (based on the best selling books by Beverly Cleary), THE SADDLE CLUB and THE ZACK FILES (Fox Family). Lancit’s work has been recognized by over 200 broadcast awards including numerous EMMIES, A Peabody Award, Hugo, Prix Jeunesse International, numerous Monitor Awards and many Cine Golden Eagles.
Today, Larry and his partner Cecily Lancit own and operate Lancit Digital Media in Naples, Florida. LDM specializes in multi-platform production of video for the Broadcast, Corporate and Social Media markets. Additionally, LDM owns and operates the Paradise Coast TV Visitor Channel, seen in 30 hotels in SW Florida reaching over 4500 guest rooms. PCTV is a dedicated channel in the hotels helping visitors decide ‘Where to Go, What to Do, and Where to Dine’ on Florida’s Paradise Coast.
Larry Lancit was born in Newark, New Jersey, and attended the University of Florida in Gainesville. He has a Bachelor Degree in Journalism and Communications. Lancit served on the University of Florida College of Journalism and Telecommunications Advisory Board from 1997-2000, and was made an Alumnus of Distinction in 1992.

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Director Statement

The International Blues Challenge is a singular musical event. Competition is held the world over at the local level to nominate Blues artists to travel to Memphis and compete for global recognition, so the mix of people and talent gathered in one place for a week is truly astounding. Being immersed in that kind of environment, to have the opportunity to tell the story of so many interesting people, is a once in a lifetime adventure...and the stories are so varied and unique.

The Blues is a 'root' genre of music that has generated and influenced the evolution of American music and history for the past 400 years, since enslaved Africans brought their music to this land. The Blues is a music that is infused with pain, joy, love and emotion....and the people who write it and sing it tell their own personal stories through their music. Those are the stories we tried to capture and bring to our audience.

We are at a time in the history of America where truth has become an arbitrary value, but there is nothing arbitrary about the soulful
musical expression that comes from a place of deep humanity. That humanity emerges from these stories as does the power of the Blues to bring the world together; and to recognize America's proudest musical heritage. This music and these artists tell the truth of how it feels to be human.