Music and Film in Muscatine

Film submissions to the Muscatine Music & Independent Film Festival come from a variety of genres, including short films, mystery, experimental and documentary. Awards are given at the end of the festival. Photo: Muscatine Music & Independent Film Festival.

Crank up the volume: Music will get equal billing at an annual film festival in southeast Iowa. The newly renamed Muscatine Music & Independent Film Festival will feature a mix of music videos and live music along with film screenings Nov. 4-5 at the local performing arts center and a nearby brewery.

“Music is everywhere. It’s in everything,” festival director Chad Bishop says. “With my favorite movies, I always look back and think—oh, the soundtrack!” (His tastes run the gamut, from “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” to “Vanilla Sky.”)

Before the pandemic, about 85% of the Muscatine festival’s audiences came from out of town, according to an economic-impact survey conducted by Produce Iowa, the state office of film and media. So Bishop decided to add music to entice more localsand whoever else enjoys a good time.

Music “makes all the difference,” he says. “It affects your emotional response.”

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