Empty Orchestra is a mixed media documentary film that follows a group of self-identifying misfits in their overwhelmingly religious community of Provo, Utah, and their shared devotion to karaoke singing. The participants embraced the social silliness and cringe that people often associate with karaoke; however, they also transferred some of the reverence, seeking, and organization from their Mormon roots into the ritual and community of karaoke. While Empty Orchestra does deliver the history of the birth, life, and eventual closure of a karaoke club, its narrative trajectory prioritizes the themes presented by this story: social marginalization, religious existentialism, grief, suicide, sexuality, communion, radical belonging, displacement and community. The film relies heavily on interviews, mixed media montages, symbolic motifs, and non-linear story-telling.
2023 Brooklyn Film Festival