Mushroom Group Presses Play on Music Film Distribution and Production Company

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The boys are back in town from next month, when Mushroom Group launches its new film distribution and production company, Long Play Music Films.

Long Play launches with Emer Reynolds’ award-wining documentary on the late Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott: Songs For While I’m Away, which will roll out in Australian cinemas from Sept. 29.

The new company will pursue “unique and wonderful music stories from around the globe,” explains Warren Costello, director of Long Play, by “diving in deeper, capturing angles on the performer and the performance that people haven’t seen before.”

Long Play started out as a “fun side project,” born out of brainstorming sessions with the late Mushroom Group founder Michael Gudinski, as a weapon to complement the indie company’s recorded music, touring and special events activities.

Those ventures include Mushroom Pictures, which this month celebrates the 20th anniversary of the multi award-winning biopic Chopper, a partnership with Pariah Productions.

When live music venues and borders closed in 2020, the Mushroom Group and its chairman refocused on film and TV projects. During the darkest months of the pandemic, Gudinski curated Music From The Home Front, a virtual concert; the six-part series The State Of Music, which streamed live on YouTubeFacebook and Victoria Together; and The Sound, which has completed two seasons on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

With Long Play, “we’re positioning ourselves as a vehicle to tell the stories, the real stories and hopefully using a lot of pre-existing footage, rather than shooting from scratch,” Costello explains. “There’s a lot of gold out there, sitting in archives and record company shelves and warehouses.”

Phil Lynott: Songs For While I’m Away will premiere at the Irish Film Festival, which will take place online from Sept. 3-12, followed by a limited theatrical release.

“We aim to offer screenings of new release music documentaries in cinema comfort and wherever possible with enhanced sound,” adds Costello, who continues to guide the Bloodlines label, another Mushroom Group company, “so that audiences can experience these films as they were meant to be seen and heard.”

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