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The Film

In 1977 Frank Bey quit singing after a deal had gone wrong with the Godfather of Soul, James Brown.

42 years later Frank was invited to Nashville by Buddy Guy’s producer to record the album of his life.  Our film chronicles Frank’s amazing journey to the pinnacle of his performing life.

Frank Bey: All My Dues Are Paid is a feature documentary film which has taken 6 years to complete. Frank’s album, Back In Business,  memorialized in our film, was nominated for a Blues Music Award in 2019 and his follow-up CD was nominated for a Grammy in 2021.

Our film has received on-going support from IFP’s 2019 Documentary Lab and Chicken and Egg’s Nest Knight Fellowship. The film’s fiscal sponsorship is provided by New York Women in Film and Television.

We continue to seek additional sponsors.

Please contact Tom Dwyer at 215-519-6700 for sponsorship details.

The Filmmakers

Producer and Director – Tom Dwyer

Tom taught public high school English in suburban Philadelphia for 35 years and college English, simultaneously, for 10 years at Drexel University, using music and film extensively in both settings. Tom studied acting for 5 years after retiring from the classroom in 2006, appearing in two staged musicals, more than 20 student and independent film productions, and in 4 feature films, including 2 Hollywood productions. He has studied classical and folk guitar as well as Irish bouzouki. Since 2007 Tom has sung “standards” with Peter Nero’s Philly Pops Festival Chorus as well as solo folk, holiday, and popular classics in different settings and venues.

Director and Editor – Lisa Palattella

Lisa Palattella is an award-winning film editor whose works have been shown in movie theaters, on television, and at major film-festivals worldwide.

Her film credits include 12 feature-length documentaries, including the award-winning films Citizen Koch, Until the Violence Stops, and Deli Man. She received the Karl Malden Editing Award for her work on Wish Me Away.

Lisa also has worked on many TV projects, including films for HBO-Max, Disney, PBS, and National Geographic.

Lisa has won two Emmys for editing TV films including Life on Jupiter, Going, Going, Gone: Animals in Danger, and Military Medicine:Beyond the Battlefield.

She has edited 2 films accepted by the Sundance Film Festival. Lisa also is a musician and an ASCAP songwriter.

Cinematographer – Marie Hinson

Marie is an artist and cinematographer originally from rural Appalachia. She shoots narrative, documentary, and commercial work for clients including PBS, Comcast, Verizon, Facebook, LogoTV, Human Rights watch, Urban Outfitters and Bustle. Recently Marie was a cinematographer and associate producer on Queer Genius which features visionary queer artists Eileen Myles, Barbara Hammer, Black Quantum Futurism and Jibz Cameron. She was also a cinematographer on Alysa Nahmias’ forthcoming documentary about artist Jesse Krimes. She is an alum of Vox Populi, a collective art organization. In spring of 2019, she debuted a new site-transformative, collective performance work, “Stop on the object / move on the image” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Associate Producer – Kathy Dwyer

Kathy is a practicing attorney in business and technology law who, for more than 25 years, has practiced in the Philadelphia area, focusing on software licensing, financial technology, and intellectual property. Her general legal counselling experience covers a variety of settings from multi-national corporations to small businesses. Kathy’s expertise includes negotiating contracts and mediating through difficult situations. She is a graduate of Drexel University and Temple University Law School. Kathy has appeared in 2 Hollywood films and is a self-educated connoisseur of films from all genres.

Consulting Producer – Trevite Willis

Award-winning producer Trevite Willis has produced digital-content projects as well as short and feature films since 1999.

Her work includes CHILDREN OF GOD which had theatrical releases in the US, the UK, and The Netherlands, won 17 awards, and was sold in 24 territories.

Currently, Ms. Willis is in post-production of a documentary about the Baltimore mayoral election. She also has two projects readying for the festival circuit, a human-trafficking drama, CARGO, starring British actor Warren Brown (LUTHER), Jimmy Jean Louis (HEROES), Persia White (GIRLFRIENDS), and Omar Dorsey (QUEEN SUGAR). The other project is a supernatural thriller, THE DARK RITE, starring up-and-coming talent Eden Brolin (BEYOND), Ross Wellinger (LONG DISTANCE), Eric Nelsen (WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES) and Justiin Davis (BOARDWALK EMPIRE).

Ms. Willis previously produced the award-winning short film, PASSAGE, the Black-gay coming-of-age feature BLUEPRINT, the  web series 31,  and the short-film, UNCLE KILLA which was picked up by HBO.

Her music video productions have included works with Grammy nominees and winners, including Shawn Mullins and Speech of Arrested Development.

Consulting Producer – Jamila Paksima

Jamila is an Independent filmmaker and an award-winning documentary director, as well as an executive producer of TV programming, corporate branding, and non-profit branding campaigns. Her clients have included PBS, NBC, BBC, Discovery Channel, Johnson and Johnson, and many others. Jamila received 9 directing and audience awards for her feature documentary film, Until 20 including the Audience Award for the Best Documentary Film at the Austin Film Festival in 2015.

Current Film Festival Accolades and Awards

Berlin New Wave Film Festival
September 19, 2023
Official Selection-Festival Winner
FESTIVAL REACTION: Tom Dwyer, Lisa Palattella, and the dedicated team involved in crafting the documentary centered around Frank Bey’s remarkable journey, I wish to extend my appreciation for the documentary you have crafted, which thoughtfully illuminates Frank Bey’s extraordinary life and musical odyssey. The film beautifully portrays the themes of tenacity, devotion, and the relentless pursuit of aspirations. The documentary adeptly encapsulates Frank’s evolution from encountering adversity to the realization of his lifelong ambition in the vibrant musical scene of Nashville. The comprehensive interviews and live performances provide an intimate glimpse into Frank’s world and underscore his remarkable artistry. The somewhat ironic note of a posthumous Grammy nomination for his final CD, “All My Dues Are Paid,” lends a profound emotional depth to his narrative, highlighting his enduring impact on the music industry. Your documentary stands as a touching homage to Frank Bey’s legacy, certain to resonate with audiences worldwide. We are genuinely thankful for the opportunity to experience this remarkable story.

Detroit Film Festival
Detroit, MI
United States
September 15, 2023
Semi Finalist

Macon (Georgia) Film Festival
(Attended w/Q&A)
Macon, Georgia
United States
August 20, 2023
2023 Special Mention-Music Category Award
Strong, positive audience feedback with
significant presales.

2023 Baden Blues (Music) Festival
(Attended w/ Q&As)

May 27, 2023
Swedish Premiere
Invited for multiple screenings as Centerpiece
of Festival. Significant presales.

Venice Independent Film Festival
January 5, 2023

Film Haus Berlin Film Festival
November 25, 2022
Award Winner

Sherman Oaks Film Festival
Sherman Oaks, CA
United States
November 15, 2022
Official Selection/Audience favorite

Liverpool (UK) Film Festival
United Kingdom
November 6, 2022
Official Selection

Lonely Seal Film Festival
Boston. MA
United States
October 7, 2022
Winner Best Documentary

Greater Cleveland Urban Film
Festival (Attended w/Q&A)
Cleveland, OH
United States
September 16, 2022
Special Invitation to multiple screenings at
festival. Strong, positive audience feedback.

Docs Without Borders Film Festival

United States
August 15, 2022
2022 Winner for Excellence

New Hope Film Festival
(Attended w/Q&A)New Hope, PA

United States
July 22, 2022
Winner Best Documentary Film. Strong
screening presales.

Manhattan Film Festival

New York City. NY
United States
June 10, 2022
Winner-Best Historical Music Documentary-
Spring, 2022

In Production Screenings:

LA Independent Film Festival
Los Angeles, CA
United States
In Production-Semi-Finalist Late Winter, 2022

Boden Intl. Film Festival
Finalist-Winter, 2021

Cannes World Film Festival
Winner-Best American Film- Fall, 2021

Toronto Black Film Festival
North American Premiere
Official Selection-Fall, 2021

Film Poster


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Frank’s Record Label | Nola Blue Records

Tom Dwyer | 1-215-519-6700
[email protected]

This film is supported by fiscal sponsorship through New York Women in Film and Television.
If you are interested in sponsoring, promoting, or distributing our film, please contact Tom Dwyer.