CBGB Film Fest Recap: ‘Svengali: The Movie’

Posted on: October 18th, 2013 at 10:20 am by

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Photo: CBGB.com

Among the documentaries, we found a gem of a British comedy at the film festival. Svengali tells the story of wide-eyed music fanatic Dixie (Jonny Owen), a postman from South Wales, who has always dreamed of discovering a great band.

He finds the perfect group on YouTube, quits his job, and with his fiance in tow, heads to London to track the band down (and to see if they will let him manage them). Hijinks ensue, but they are fun hijinks.

By the way, the band is called “The Premature Congratulations” and they are described as “young, arrogant, sexy and utterly magnificent.”

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Actress Vicky McClure and Actor/Writer Jonny Owen of “Svengali.” Photo: Lori Greenberg.

Svengali, which started as a web series, was written by Owen, a BAFTA winning producer, actor and writer. The film also stars actress Vicky McClure as Dixie’s fiancé, Shell. Both leads, and the film, were completely charming. So charming, in fact, that the original web series caught the attention of some well known British actors and musicians who asked if they could have cameos in the project.

Included among these is the brilliant Martin Freeman, who has a hilarious cameo in the film as a record store owner/music snob obsessed with the 1960s. Just looking at his paisley shirts and rose-tinted glasses made us giggle before Freeman even uttered a word (we’re also pretty sure that we dated the real version of that guy, years ago). Music industry bigwig Alan McGee also has quite a wonderful role in the film (playing himself), but we won’t give that one away.

You can check out Svengali’s website and can also watch the first episode of the web series below:

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