A multi-award-winning feature documentary maker for more than 35 years, Vikram Jayanti is best known for his high profile portraits of cultural icons: usually individuals of extraordinary accomplishment, such as Abraham Lincoln, Muhammad Ali and Garry Kasparov – and sometimes characters of some notoriety, such as Phil Spector, and Uri Geller. His films are marked by their combination of intellectual seriousness and cinematic narrative energy. His theatrical documentaries include The Agony & the Ecstasy of Phil Spector, James Ellroy’s Feast of Death, When We Were Kings (Academy Award 1996), & Born into Brothels (Academy Award 2005). Long seen as a producer/director of event television, he’s made hits for History Channel (The Darkness of Abraham Lincoln, The Christmas Truce), Discovery Channel (Death Valley, Snowblind), the BBC (The Secret Life of Uri Geller – Psychic Spy?, Britney Spears Saved My Life), Britain’s Channel 4 (The Man Who Bought Mustique, Tripping, The Ten Plagues of Egypt), the World Documentary Fund (Game Over: Kasparov and the Machine) as well as for Showtime, Universal Television, and even Japan’s NHK, among many others. His most recent release was PBS’s Loretta Lynn: Still A Mountain Girl (2016). He’s currently making a two-parter marquee science show for PBS and BBC, titled Neanderthal Fight Club, with Andy “Gollum” Serkis.
About the Film
Filmmaker: Vikram Jayanti
Runtime: 115 minutes
At 83 years old, Loretta Lynn is the reigning matriarch of country music, still touring sold-out houses around North America and influencing a whole new generation of country singer-songwriters. Her astonishing rags-to-riches story (dramatized in Michael Apted’s 1980 Oscar-winning movie Coal Miner’s Daughter) embodies the American Dream so utterly that if you’d made it up as fiction it would be too incredible to believe. Her early songs transcended country music, with her lyrics helping lead the wider charge of feminism and other social issues in the 60’s and 70’s, and at the age of 72 she released a Grammy-winning, bestselling album with rock icon Jack White. With the help of Jack White, Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Reba McEntire, Miranda Lambert, Michael Apted and Sissy Spacek, multi-award-winning filmmaker Vikram Jayanti’s latest feature documentary explores Loretta’s almost 60 year career, her roots in the hardscrabble coalmining mountains of Appalachian Eastern Kentucky, and how she’s recreated her birthplace in the remote hamlet of Butcher Holler, Kentucky, at her vast ranch in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, outside the Nashville that she helped transform over the last six decades. And the music’s great too: after seeing LORETTA LYNN: STILL A MOUNTAIN GIRL, you may never be able to get her songs out of your head.