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The Swell Season

Film & Film History, Music
Nick August-Perna, Chris Dapkins, and Carlo Mirabella-Davis
90 minutes


*World Premiere Tribeca Film Festival

*Opening Night Film SilverDocs Documentary Festival

*New York Times Critics' Pick

*New York Magazine's Critics' Pick

"Intimate and disarming -Washington Post's Critics' Pick

*The Times-Picayune's "Top 10 documentaries of 2011"

"A poignant commentary on the uneasy commingling of love and fame. Shot in shimmering black and white, the images swaddle the story in a retro glamour as wistful as Ms. Irglova's voice." -The NY Times

"In this extraordinary documentary, so intimate and so natural, you feel as if you've stumbled into the room by mistake... In the end, despite all its disparate parts, the documentary somehow coalesces beautifully into a moving portrait of two musicians who fell in love "once." -The LA Times

"Lovely, very satisfying, really beautiful." -NPR



In 2008, Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova captivated audiences and earned two Academy Awards for their musical collaboration in the film Once, which reached $10 million at the box office and grew their popularity and fan base by tens of thousands in North America and throughout the world. As their fictional romance blurred with reality, they fell in love, recorded an album, and embarked on a world tour. Fueled by two years of exhilaration, performance, and psychological turmoil, The Swell Season is much more than a music documentary. It is a volatile and intimate portrait of a romance that fractures in the face of life on the road and personal tragedy. As Glen and Marketa's relationship unhinges, ultimately music prevails as their enduring connection.

With incredible performances from around the world and an intimate seat on Glen and Marketa's tour, The Swell Season will resonate with film fans and music fans alike.


Nick August-Perna

Nick August-Perna is a New York-based filmmaker working with Elkcreek Cinema. He most recently co-directed and edited The Swell Season, a feature-length documentary about Academy Award-winning musicians Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova. He has worked for PBS's award-winning documentary series Wide Angle, and recently traveled to Haiti to film a story for Human Rights Watch. He has also written and directed several short films and documentaries. Nick got his masters degree at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in 2007.

Chris Dapkins

Chris Dapkins was invited by the Tribeca Film Institute to participate in the Tribeca/ Marrakech Filmmaker Exchange with Martin Scorcese and Abbas Kiarostami in Marrakech, Morroco in 2005. His short film from Morocco, A Weak Signal premiered at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival. As a Director of Photography, he has shot a select group of fiction films such as Knife Point (Sundance '09). Most recently he photographed and co-directed The Swell Season featuring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.

Carlo Mirabella-Davis

Carlo Mirabella-Davis was raised in the mountains of East Meredith, in upstate New York. He co-founded Elkcreek Cinema, a collective dedicated to films involving the upstate area. He has a BFA from Tisch NYU Undergraduate Film School and recently completed his Masters Degree at Tisch NYU Graduate Film School. Mirabella-Davis wrote and directed the short film Knife Point, which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, aired on ARTE-TV, and for which he won “Best New Director" at the Brooklyn International Film Festival. Carlo co-directed and produced the feature documentary The Swell Season. His feature screenplay On Evil was chosen for the 2011 Sundance Director's Lab.


"This black-and-white documentary has the same disarming genuineness that made “Once” so appealing." -The New York Post

"Swell Season makes a bruised-but-sweet flip side to Once's dreamy love song." -The Hollywood Reporter

"The movie looks beautiful, its sublime b&w cinematography signaling a fading dream. And there are touching moments here that you rarely see in docs about professional musicians or celebrities in general." -Time Out New York

"This doc is a can't miss

"Beautifully shot... tenderly honest" -Times Picayune

"Entrancing, passionate, riveting... beautifully shot" -RealScreen

"Lovely... Engaging" -Television Without Pity

"disarming and intimate... delectable, music-filled road trip/therapy session." -NY Daily News

"The film offers a compelling introduction to the duo and their music, a timeless visual sensibility, an engaging impressionistic structure, and a wealth of elemental, deep-rooted emotion." -The Atlantic

"Elegant, intimate, honest" -The Seattle Times

"Lovely, memorable, bittersweet"

"Beautifully filmed, emotional and well crafted." -Film Ireland

"Tender, raw and revealing" -The Wrap

"Compelling... It is the definition of a 'must see'." -Cool Cleveland

"Beautiful, often breathtaking" -Twitch Film

"It’s a beautiful film." -Washington City Paper

"Incredible." -The Film Stage

"Electrifying." -Screen Comment

‎"An intimate, often sad documentary. It may not be as flashy as some of the other films which have opened the festival, but it's easily one of the best." -DCist

"Gorgeously shot.. Stylish and intriguing, The Swell Season is certainly a must-see for any fans of Once and the band, but it also offers a intimate and emotional look into the struggles that come with instant fame." -Meets Obsession

"Beautiful" -Washington Times Communities

"The beauty and energy of the music alone are worth the price of admission, but it’s the way the filmmakers have so deftly captured the raw and honest intimacy of Hansard and Irglova’s personal and artistic collaboration that make The Swell Season worth watching." -The Christian Science Monitor

"Compelling." -Gig City

"It’s one of the best music documentaries I’ve ever seen." -Haliwood Insider

"Beautiful" -Dalhousie Gazette

It's a doc not to miss

"Touching" -Geeks of Doom


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