2016 Schedule

Interactive: March 11–15  •  Film: March 11–19  •  Music: March 15–20

BANG! The Bert Berns Story

Friday, March 18
11:00AM - 12:34PM


Hashtags: #sxsw

Music meets the Mob in this biographical documentary, narrated by Steven Van Zandt, about the life and career of Bert Berns, the most important songwriter and record producer from the sixties that you never heard of. His hits include "Twist and Shout", "Hang On Sloopy", "Here Comes The Night" and "Piece Of My Heart." He helped launch the careers of Van Morrison and Neil Diamond and produced some of the greatest soul music ever made. Filmmaker Brett Berns brings his late father's story to the screen with interviews with those who knew him best and rare performance footage. Included in the film are interviews with Ronald Isley, Ben E. King, Solomon Burke, Van Morrison and Paul McCartney.

Section: 24 Beats Per Second
Premiere Status: World Premiere
Country: United States
Language: English
Year: 2016
Runtime: 94min

Director: Brett Berns, Bob Sarles

Executive Producer: Sid Ganis

Producer: Michael B Borofsky, Brooks Arthur, Leo Feroleto

Cinematographer: Aaron Medick, Gil Gilbert

Editor: Bob Sarles

Sound Designer: James LeBrecht, Berkeley Sound Artists

Music: Barry Goldberg, Joshua Meltzer

Additional Credits: Narrator: Steven Van Zandt, Narration written by: Joel Selvin, Producer, Story Editor: Christina Keating, Second Unit Director: Craig Spirko, Second Unit Producer: Julee Marguiles Metz, Video Post Production: Jesse Spencer, Graphics and Animation: Steve Ogden, Sound Design: James LeBrecht

Principal Cast: Paul McCartney, Van Morrison, Ronald Isley, Solomon Burke, Ben E. King, Jeff Barry, Cissy Houston, Mike Stoller, Carmine "Wassel" DeNoia, Ilene Berns


Brett Berns is the son of legendary songwriter and record producer Bert Berns. He has devoted much of his life to raising awareness of his late father's legacy. He spent eight years producing BANG! THE BERT BERNS STORY. Bob Sarles is a documentary filmmaker and Emmy nominated editor. He previously directed SWEET BLUES: A FILM ABOUT MIKE BLOOMFIELD.

Public Film Contact
Brett Berns
(310) 456-9585

Publicity Contact
Mark Satlof



Music Badge, Film Badge, Gold Badge, Platinum Badge, Film Festival Wristband
Event Type
Screening Section
24 Beats Per Second
Thanks to our sponsors
Esurance Logo Mazda Logo Monster Energy Logo CapitalOne logo Bud Light logo McDonald's logo Austin Chronicle Logo
Music sponsor
Sonic Bids Logo Pandora Logo Marriott Rewards Logo
Interactive sponsor
Deloitte Digital Logo Ten-X Logo United Airlines Logo Samsung Logo