The documentary "Sid Bernstein Presents ...", directed by Jason Ressler and Evan Strome, is an exploration of the complexity of the American dream through the life of one of the most important figures in modern music history: Sid Bernstein. It examines how a poor, Jewish kid from Harlem changed the music business and how the same traits that created many of his successes also led to difficulties. "Sid Bernstein Presents..." uniquely fuses traditional documentary elements with those more common in narrative films and contains many prominent interviews along with a great deal of rare and unseen footage.
Sid Bernstein paved a unique path in the music industry and maintained a long career by taking risks that others wouldn't. He's known for his extraordinary instincts and unparalleled kindness. Mr. Bernstein's dreams have often become a reality; other times they remained unrealized fantasies that led to hard times.
The film includes a diverse array of stars such as Lenny Kravitz, Shirley MacLaine, Steven Van Zandt, The Moody Blues, Paul Anka, Dick Clark, The Rascals, Jerry Vale, Phoebe Snow, The Animals, Herman's Hermits, comedians Red Buttons and Pat Cooper, music titans Ahmet Ertegun, Bruce Lundvall, Woodstock Promoter Michael Lang and more. It also contains the last filmed interviews with Tito Puente and James Brown.
Mr. Bernstein led the charge against racism in the U.S. and, as James Brown states in the film "was doing what the Kennedys and Martin Luther King had discovered later, but Sid had already begun to do it through music". Mr. Bernstein was the first white promoter at Harlem's famed Apollo Theater, the first one to bring Ray Charles, James Brown and many others off the black only "Chitlin's Circuit" and into their first mainstream venues. Mambo great Tito Puente credits Mr. Bernstein with being a main force in bringing Latin music into the mainstream. Later, he created the first major charity concerts & anti-war concerts.
Sid was the first promoter to bring Rock & Roll to Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden. The first promoter to create an outdoor stadium concert in America with the Beatles at Shea Stadium. He brought the first bands of the British invasion to America which included the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Moody Blues, The Animals, The Kinks, Herman's Hermits, Dave Clark Five, Manfred Mann and Gerry and the Pacemakers. Among the groups he managed were The Rascals, Melba Moore, Laura Branigan and Phoebe Snow. He introduced ABBA to America... He created the first major charity concerts & anti-war concerts...
The list goes on and on.