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In search of a creative path, singer-songwriter ISMAY (Avery Hellman) sets off on a road trip of discovery, tracing the roots of music icon Lucinda Williams in this captivating documentary.


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Finding Lucinda,  takes viewers on a heartfelt journey through the life and early career of the iconic country/folk music star Lucinda Williams. Directed by Joel Fendelman (Man on Fire, Remittance, Game Night, David) and produced by Liz McBee (upcoming Red For Revolution, Hi, I'm Nancy Rubin, Burning The Village), this film follows ISMAY, singer/songwriter Avery Hellman, an aspiring artist in search of inspiration for their own artistic journey. Prepare to be transported as "Finding Lucinda" unveils the untold stories and profound influences that shaped the remarkable path of this legendary artist.

In Finding Lucinda, Avery Hellman embarks on a road trip across the southern United States, delving into the people and places that shaped Lucinda Williams' early career. The film showcases interviews with Charlie Sexton, Buddy Miller, Mary Gauthier, Josh Baca and Max Baca (Los Texmaniacs), John Grimaudo, and Wolf Stephenson. Through these conversations, the documentary sheds light on the profound impact Lucinda Williams had on music and how her artistry continues to resonate today.


Director Joel Fendelman and his talented crew skillfully assembled the team behind Finding Lucinda. Cinematographer Rose Bush, known for her work on the Academy Award-winning documentary Colette, brings a unique visual perspective to the film. The collaboration between Joel and Avery infuses the storytelling with a sense of calm and artistry that captivates viewers throughout the documentary.


The origination of the documentary stems from Avery Hellman's personal connection to Lucinda Williams' music. Growing up in a musical family, Avery's admiration for Lucinda's talent served as a guiding light and source of inspiration. Fueled by a desire to find meaning in their own musical journey, Avery set out to explore the milestones and influences that shaped Lucinda's brilliant songwriting.


Avery Hellman adds, “Lucinda Williams represents the gold standard of rhythm, the epitome of integrity and artistic simplicity. Her work is sophisticated and genuine, sewing together so many threads of American life. When we started making Finding Lucinda, I really struggled with whether I was good enough to be a professional touring and record-making musician. I felt that if I could look into the early career of an artist that has so much integrity, I might be able to find an answer as to whether I could see a path forward for myself.” Through "Finding Lucinda," Avery hopes to inspire audiences to embrace their own creative pursuits and find solace in the journey of self-discovery.


Over the course of four years, the team delved into Lucinda Williams' past, unearthing hidden treasures and untold stories. Highlights of the film include the discovery of Lucinda's earliest recorded songs, which were tucked away in the Malaco Studios vault since the 1970s. These tracks miraculously survived a devastating tornado that ravaged the studio in 2011, becoming a testament to Lucinda's enduring legacy.


Additionally, the documentary uncovers Lucinda's connection to influential figures such as Charlie Sexton, who played with her when he was just eleven years old and she was a little-known songwriter in Austin. The film features an exclusive interview with John Grimaudo, Lucinda's guitarist from her first record, who moved away from Austin shortly after recording and left the music industry altogether.

Finding Lucinda is a mesmerizing exploration of artistry, self-discovery, and the power of music. Audiences will be enchanted by the enthralling storytelling and insights shared by Lucinda's contemporaries. This documentary is not only a tribute to Lucinda Williams' immense talent but also a testament to the universal struggles and triumphs faced by artists on their creative journey.

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Sidewalk Film Festival 2023
Birmingham, Alabama, USA
August 27th

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