Locally made ‘Tree Man’ documentary to get Neon Movies, national showings

One of the latest works of a Dayton-area filmmaker and documentarian is about to get national and local showings after months of critical and film festival praise.

Created by Allen Farst, "Chuck Leavell: The Tree Man,” a documentary on the rock pianist and keyboardist described as the “Fifth Rolling Stone” hits theaters Friday nationwide.

Here are scheduled showings at the Neon Movies in downtown Dayton:

Fri, Sat, Sun (Nov 6 to 8): 1 pm, 4 pm and 7:15 pm

Nov 9 and 10: 3:30 and 7:15 pm

And Nov 11 and 12: 3:30 pm.

The 7:15 p.m. slots for the first three evenings at Neon Movies are sold out, Farst said.

The film is a detailed look at Leavell’s life on and off the stage. Leavell has played and toured with the Rolling Stones since 1982, and as a release from Farst puts it, “His status as rock royalty may be equaled only by his stature within the world of environmental forestry, where he previously has been named the National Tree Farmer of the Year in the United States.”

“It’s this fascinating combination of passions, coupled with more than 80 gripping interviews from legendary musicians with a combined 58 Grammy Awards, that already has produced quite the buzz for the film,” Farst’s release says.

For some four years, Farst’s exploration of Leavell took him to Europe and beyond, where he interviewed Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, actor Billy Bob Thornton, singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow and many others.

The documentary was featured at the Macon and Sedona International film festivals, the latter of which recognized the film with the 2020 People’s Choice Award.

“This is a must-see film for anyone who loves great music and great documentaries,” Patrick Schweiss, artistic director of the Sedona International Film Festival, is quoted as saying in Farst’s announcement.

A Dayton-area native and Vandalia-Butler High School graduate, Farst owns commercial video production company Niche Productions and record company Niche Records.

Among his newest projects: “Triangle Park," a documentary is about the local team that participated in what is now recognized as the first National Football League game, which took place at Triangle Park in Dayton on Oct. 3, 1920.

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