Opening Night Film
John Mann, rowdy lead singer for beloved band Spirit of the West, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Spirit Unforgettable documents the challenging and beautiful process of preparing for a concert which might be his last. Mann has strong support. The bandmates’ humour and joy permeate the film. Also central is the 30-year bond between Mann and his wife Jill Daum. Music is Mann’s lifeline, helping him to reclaim some language and memories. His famous line, “You’ll have to excuse me, I’m not at my best” is poignant now, but his courage and power of spirit defy adversity to create enduring beauty.
We'll be joined at the screening by director Pete McCormack, John Mann and Jill Daum.
Most Popular Canadian Documentary Award, Vancouver International Film Festival 2016
About The Attending Filmmaker
Pete McCormack is a director, writer, producer and musician. His documentary Facing Ali was Oscar short-listed in 2009 and won VIFF’s 2009 most popular documentary (as did Spirit Unforgettable in 2016). Other award-winning films include the Kevin Spacey-narrated Uganda Rising, the Spike-TV hit I Am Bruce Lee, the scripted feature See Grace Fly and the Pierce Brosnan-narrated short documentary Hope In The Time of AIDS. Pete created the HBO documentary series Sports on Fire. Pete’s written several produced screenplays and two novels, including the Stephen Leacock-nominated Understanding Ken. He is currently working on a new novel.