The Fort Myers Film Festival kicks off its 8th season March 21 with the premiere showing of "Melody Makers," a rock documentary that tells the story of the rise and fall of the world's most influential music publication and uncovers an era of unprecedented creative freedom.

This will be the Florida premiere for the film, which has won awards at a dozen other festivals. The red carpet party rolls out at 5:30 p.m. at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. The film starts at 7 p.m. with afterparty on the stage to follow with stars and cast attending the Fort Myers Film Festival.

Tickets start at $12. Select beverages from List Distillery, food from LYNQ and dessert by Norman Love provided at after party. 

At the heart of the opening night film's story is Barrie Wentzell, chief contributing photographer of Melody Maker Magazine (1965-1975) and his iconic photographic archive featuring prominent legendary musicians and musical groups that emerged during the birth of rock n' roll including Led Zepplin, Eric Clapton, The Who, The Beatles, Elton John, Ian Anderson, The Animals, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd and more. Select musicians, and Melody Maker journalists, Chris Welch, Chris Charlesworth, Richard Guardian, Alan Lewis, Mick Watts and Allan Jones infuse the film with stories about a unique period when Melody Maker Magazine, founded in 1926 as a jazz musician's trade paper, boldly became the first publication to cover popular music seriously in the early 1960s, setting the stage for publications like Rolling Stone.

"Melody Maker" captured the attention of the musicians, fans, and the journalists who shared a common passion, the music. Bands were formed from the back page classified section, a pop culture phenomenon. This landmark documentary takes a fresh look at the changing landscape of music journalism that lead to the end of Melody Maker Magazine, and a style of music journalism that no longer exists today.

The Fort Myers Film Festival supports Lee County Schools filmmakers, Raddatz Foundation and Golisano's Children's Hospital.

Sponsors are Florida Weekly, Bennett's Fresh Roast Coffee, Twisted Vine Bistro, J. Bert Davis M.D., F.A.C.S, Facial Surgeon, Norman Love, La Trattoria de Napoli, Black Tie Tuxedos, Hampton Inn Suites, Twisted Vine Bistro, Best Western, Riverside Realty, Blu Sushi, Douglas E. Spiegel. P.A., Capone's Pizza, UBS Wealth Management, Kearns Restaurant Group, Mr. Tom's Spirits, LYNQ, BLANC, Manta Films and Susan Bennett Marketing & Media, L.C.

About the Fort Myers Film Festival

The Fort Myers Film Festival is an independent filmmaker's preferred event to create, unite and showcase the finest artistic cinematic works. The Fort Myers Film Festival was awarded the prestigious 2015 Chrysalis Award for Cultural Achievement by the Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau and the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce at their annual Celebration of Business & Tourism Awards Luncheon and Trade Show. The Fort Myers Film Festival was founded by Eric Raddatz, the award-winning presentation editor of Florida Weekly, regular contributor for NBC-2 in Fort Myers, and host of Fort Myers Film Festival's indie film show, "T.G.I.M.

March 21