‘Three Chords and the Truth’ – Professors Virginia Heath and Paul Atkinson’s short film screening at Woodstock Film Festival this weekend

Still from Three Chords and the Truth by Paul Atkinson and Virginia Heath and Woodstock Film Festival logo

Three Chords and the Truth will screen at Woodstock Film Festival in upstate New York this weekend, in competition for Best Short Documentary. Woodstock is celebrating its 20th anniversary as a champion of Independent Film and runs from Wednesday 02 to Sunday 06 October 2019. Woodstock is hailed as a true American maverick among festivals and hosts the most talented emerging and established professionals in the movie industry.

The film is an Art and Design Research Centre (ADRC) research collaboration between Professor Virginia Heath as film director and Professor Paul Atkinson (Design & Design History) as researcher and writer. Three Chords and the Truth is about the ‘Cigar Box Guitar Revolution’ and celebrating the democratic, anti-corporate, maverick spirit of it. The film will be screening in competition on Saturday and Sunday (05-06) October. See the festival programme here.

Thanks to all the brilliant makers and players who inspired and collaborated on the film.

The sub culture of passionate advocates of the ‘Cigar Box Guitar Revolution’, reveal how just three chords, played on their unique, DIY, instruments, hand-made from recycled materials, connect them to their truth. Many of these musicians are from post-industrial English towns, and create a self-identity through the democratic, anti-corporate, maverick spirit of making these three-stringed guitars. Born from the Blues in the Mississippi Delta, the simplicity, low cost, ‘no rules‘ approach means that anyone can try their hand. The emotional connection they feel for their instruments creates a unique and evocative sound that totally transports musicians and audiences alike.

Virginia Heath is Professor of Film in the Art and Design Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University. She is a multi-award winning writer/director with New Zealand and UK nationality. She directs documentary and drama films including the acclaimed, BAFTA nominated, From Scotland With Love and Berlinale award winning Relativity.

Paul Atkinson is Professor of Design and Design History in the Art and Design Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University. He is the author of various books and articles that have explored the design history of the computer, the design history of the electric guitar, the relationship between amateur and professional design practice and the history of the DIY and Maker Movements.