I am Secretly an Important Man: Documentary premiering October 6 in Seattle

August 19, 2010 – “I am Secretly an Important Man,” a feature-length documentary film portrait of celebrated Seattle poet Steven Jesse Bernstein, is set to premiere at Seattle’s Moore Theater on October 6 before beginning its theatrical run at the Northwest Film Forum October 22-28. Select scenes from the film and additional footage will be screened along with readings, performances and appearances by Kill Rock Stars Records founder Slim Moon, producer Steve Fisk, performance artist Suzy Schnieder, curator/art agent/writer Larry Reid and others at a Celebration of Steven Jesse Bernstein at the Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival on September 4. The event will also feature a live soundtrack by an all-star group of Seattle musicians led by Nirvana, David Byrne and Cat Power-collaborator Lori Goldston.

Directed and co-produced by Peter Sillen and executive produced by Jay Van Hoy and Lars Knudson of Parts & Labor (Old Joy, Wild Tigers I Have Known), “I am Secretly an Important Man” examines the life, work, addiction and mental illness of poet, musician and performance artist Steven Jesse Bernstein. Best known for his recordings on Sub Pop Records and his close relationship with William S. Burroughs, Bernstein was a fixture of the Seattle arts scene until his suicide in 1991. He opened for artists including Nirvana, Big Black and Soundgarden and counted Kurt Cobain and Oliver Stone among his notable fans.

Peter Sillen is a New York based documentary filmmaker. Sillen’s previous works include Speed Racer: Welcome to the World of Vic Chesnutt (1994) and Benjamin Smoke (2000). Sillen received grants from the Jerome Foundation and Creative Capital for his work on I am Secretly an Important Man and has screened his films at a numerous festivals and venues including the Sundance Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, South By Southwest, Slamdance, the Museum of Modern Art, Brooklyn Academy of Music and San Francisco’s Castro Theater.