Sound Unseen: Music, Movies, and So Much More

Cora Bora. Photos courtesy of Sound Unseen
Cora Bora. Photos courtesy of Sound Unseen

The moment you have been yearning for is here. Sound Unseen is set to unfold this weekend, so if you are a cinephile or an audiophile with a thirst for exceptional cinema and amazing musical performances, this weekend was made for you.

Sound Unseen, the trailblazing ‘films-on-music’ festival, first emerged in Minneapolis in 1999. Now, as it enters its 24th year, it has become a cornerstone of the regional art scene. While Sound Unseen offers many year-round experiences from captivating pop-up events to screenings and premieres, at its core the festival is a chance for people who love movies and music to come together and experience the best of both worlds.

Some might say that Sound Unseen is genre-defying, distinguishing itself from huge concerts and other film festivals with its insistence on embracing both. The event lineup includes documentaries, short films, music videos, rare concert footage, thought-provoking interactive panels, and – of course – the thrill of live musical performances.

We have curated a list of LGBTQ+ films that will be screening at the festival this weekend, but don’t stop there. Check out their website below for even more exciting films!

Feature Films:

LET THE CANARY SING – Wed. Nov. 8 @ 7:30pm • The Parkway • OPENING NIGHT FILM!

Chronicling Cyndi Lauper’s meteoric ascent to stardom and her profound impact on generations through her music, ever-evolving punk style, unwavering feminism, and tireless advocacy. The film takes the audience on an engaging exploration of the world of a renowned and pioneering artist who has left an unparalleled impact on the music industry. The film features interviews with some of Cyndi’s closest friends and family members, including Boy George, Billy Porter, and Patti LaBelle.

CORA BORA  – Sun. Nov 12 @ 4:15pm • The Main Cinema – Starring Megan Stalter from Hacks!

Megan Stalter shines in her leading debut as Cora, an anti-heroine in an explosive comedy of errors. Cora, a mess of an aspiring musician in LA, suspects that her long-distance girlfriend may have moved on. This prompts a journey back home with a quirky supporting cast, including Manny Jacinto and Chelsea Peretti, and Margaret Cho.

The People’s Joker

THE PEOPLE’S JOKER – Fri. Nov. 10 @7:15pm • The Main Cinema

After years numbing herself with irony and an inhalant called Smylex, an unfunny aspiring clown grapples with gender identity, first love, and old foes all while founding an illegal comedy theater in Gotham City. This queer, coming of age Joker parody stars and is directed by Vera Drew (“Beef House,” “Who Is America”) and featuring the work of 200 independent artists on three separate continents.

Anniversary Screenings:

THE PUNK SINGER –  Fri. Nov. 10 @ 7pm • Trylon Cinema – Director Sini Anderson in attendance!

Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre, rose to national attention as the reluctant but never shy voice of the riot grrrl movement. Her critics wished she would just shut-up, and her fans hoped she never would. So in 2005, when Hanna stopped shouting, many wondered why. THE PUNK SINGER takes viewers on a fascinating tour of contemporary music and offers a never-before-seen view into the life of this fearless leader.

VELVET GOLDMINE – Thur. Nov. 9 @ 8pm • The Parkway – Featuring a pre-show performance by Little Man!

Glam rock star Brian Slade (Jonathan Rhys Myers) plays a character on stage named Maxwell Demon who predicts and then fakes his own death on stage. A decade later in 1984, a reporter and former fan, Arthur Stuart (Christian Bale), tracks down the former rocker to do an article on his life and downfall. Arthur interviews the man who discovered Slade and a peer (Ewan McGregor) to understand Slade’s motivations.

Short Films:


Born Innocent makes the case for Redd Kross as the seminal West Coast band of the last half century. Formed in 1978 by brothers Jeff and Steve McDonald, and still actively playing and recording today, Redd Kross are the ultimate rock and roll lifers. Redd Kross have maintained the highest level of musical integrity, originality and quality for over forty years. They are the underappreciated link between countless threads of Los Angeles rock. Born Innocent will introduce a wider audience to two of the coolest people alive.

Let The Canary Sing


Created to commemorate the 20 years that have passed since DC-based post-hardcore band Fugazi’s last live appearance, Sound Unseen presents a screening of crowd-sourced, fan-recorded live shows and rare archival footage to pay tribute to Fugazi’s prowess as a live act. This unique archival assemblage celebrates the fans and their cameras, as much as the band itself — a collision/collusion of the ephemeral moment on stage, and the moments captured on camera.

Sound Unseen’s mission extends beyond the confines of a typical festival: it is a cultural organization devoted to the intersection of film and music. Each film curated for Sound Unseen serves as a conduit for profound ideas and diverse perspectives.

Sound Unseen strives to foster a deep appreciation of cinema, build bridges between cultures, nurture community, and foster cultural exchange. Consider attending a screening or two and while you loiter in the lobby afterwards go ahead and build a metaphorical bridge.

These films offer all of us a great opportunity not only to dig into our own communities, but also offer insight into others as well. Join the community of cinephiles and music enthusiasts at this year’s Sounds Unseen festival!

Sound Unseen Festival
November 8-12

5100 Eden Ave, Suite 107 • Edina, MN 55436
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