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Umbrella Entertainment are proud to announce Descent into the Maelstrom – the untold story of groundbreaking Sydney band Radio Birdman, busting into cinemas nationally from July 20.

Written, directed and co-produced by filmmaker Jonathan J Sequeira, the documentary chronicles the rise and fall of the band – from the vibrant music scene they created, to the legions of bands they influenced in their wake.

From 1974 to 1978, Radio Birdman’s uncompromising, high-energy ethos inspired a ‘New Race’ of disaffected youth, ready for a change. Their music directly inspired bands such as Midnight Oil and Cold Chisel, while their DIY attitude and self-released records were the prototype for the indie music scene. They created the Funhouse, a Sydney venue that gave other bands with nowhere to go an opportunity. They championed punk and rock n’ roll from around the globe with the infamous Funhouse jukebox and the kids packed the dance floor, going crazy as the band performed. Radio Birdman’s music wasn’t just the soundtrack for youth, it truly changed Australia.

Descent into the Maelstrom will premiere at a sold-out screening in its hometown of Sydney on Monday, June 19 at Event Cinemas George St, followed by a Q&A with Birdman’s Deniz Tek and Pip Hoyle, director Jonathan J. Sequeira moderated by respected rock journo Murray Engleheart. An encore screening is being held on Monday July 3 with the same line-up.

In Melbourne, Cinema Nova will host a screening on Sunday, July 2 followed by a Q&A with Deniz Tek, Jonathan J. Sequeira moderated by respected journalist Martin Boulton.

Descent into the Maelstrom will also play at Perth’s Revelation Film Festival and will also open the Adelaide leg of the Monster Fest Travelling Sideshow.

Umbrella Entertainment will be releasing the film through an Appointment Viewing strategy, with screenings at 7pm Thursday, 9pm Friday and matinees on the weekend from July 20 at the following cinemas: Event Cinemas George St in Sydney, Event Cinemas Manuka in Canberra, Cinema Nova in Melbourne, Event Cinemas Innaloo in Perth, Event Cinemas Myer Centre in Brisbane and GU Film House in Adelaide. More sites announced soon. Fan-Force have also partnered with the film, making it available to fans to book screenings. Jonathan J. Sequeira will also tour with the film through regional locations.

Director Jonathan J Sequeira on the film..

“Descent into the Maelstrom isn’t just the story of Radio Birdman, it’s the story of a scene, a movement, in Australia, started by the band. It’s about doing your music, and your art without compromise, when everyone tries to shut you down. Radio Birdman inspired the outsiders in Australian society to do their own thing. Like the band, the film is a completely independent production – the band’s take no-prisoners attitude fed into the making of it. The intensity of the music and the individuals is still there, coming off the screen, and it insists that you too settle for nothing less than the best.”

Accompanying the film will be the Funhouse Jukebox soundtrack. Released on June 9 via Sydney label Stop Start, the soundtrack features 13 songs from bands like The Saints, The Easybeats and The Ramones as well as rare tracks from pre-Birdman outfits The Rats (feat Rob Younger, Warwick Gilbert, Ron Keeley) and TV Jones (aka Cunning Stunt feat Deniz Tek). Stocked with Rob Younger’s personal collection of singles, this compilation is a combination of Radio Birdman songs + tracks that appeared on the actual Funhouse jukebox at Sydney’s Oxford Hotel in 1977.

“Descent Into The Maelstrom – Funhouse Jukebox Soundtrack”

1. Funhouse intro dialogue

2. Descent into the Maelstrom – Radio Birdman

3. (I’m) Stranded – The Saints

4. TV Eye – Radio Birdman

5. Wars Or Hands Of Time – Masters Apprentices

6. Snake – Radio Birdman

7. Friday On My Mind – The Easybeats

8. Shake Some Action –Flamin’ Groovies

9. Blank Generation – Richard Hell & The Voidoids

10. Burned My Eye – Radio Birdman

11. Personality Crisis – The Rats

12. Monday Morning Gunk – TV Jones

13. Blitzkrieg Pop – Ramones

14 Funhouse outro dialogue

15. New Race – Radio Birdman

Released via Stop Start from June 9, 2017

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