A documentary surrounding the life and works of Elliott Smith titled Heaven Adores You is set to premiere May 5 at the San Francisco International Film Festival. The film was directed by Nickolas Rossi, produced by a high school friend of Smith named Kevin Moyer and is the first documentary of its kind to use Smith’s music.
Since some of the films contributors are close friends and family of Smith the documentary will feature unreleased music, personal photos and intimate interviews. Appearing in the film are Smith’s sister Ashley, past bandmates and collaborators, Jon Brion, Neil Gust, Larry Crane, Rob Schnapf, Slim Moon and many others.
The film will cover much of Smith’s life and success, from his music through the Oscar nomination, struggles with fame and his untimely passing. Below is a statement from Rossi explaining the main purpose and focus of the film. Watch the trailer for Heaven Adores You above.
Heaven Adores You came about over many years. I wanted to build on the love that the fans had for Elliott. I wanted to do something that honored his contributions to the music scene, to the global community, and to my own personal journey. The circumstances around Elliott’s death created a very tight circle amongst his friends. Everyone else seemed to want to pry into the sensational darkness surrounding his death.
What if we could make something about the life and music of Elliott Smith, instead of just focusing on his death? If we could make something that looked at his incredible talent as an accomplished musician and poet, instead of his struggles exacerbated by well-deserved fame? What if we could make something where Elliott was able to narrate the journey of his life and have his friends support his incredible story?
Heaven Adores You aims to be just that: A visual, melodic love letter of sorts to a musical genius, in the environments that he knew best: Portland, New York, and Los Angeles. By having Elliott guide us himself, via recorded conversations and interviews, I am hopeful that he can tell his own story once and for all, surrounded by the people who loved him dearly.