Institute History

  • 1994 Sundance Film Festival


Backbeat is the true story of the birth of the Beatles and Stuart Sutcliffe’s indelible influence on the band that went on to change the world. Set between 1960 and 1962 in Liverpool and Hamburg, when postwar austerity was doing all it could to keep art at bay, the film masterfully captures the mood and magic at the time. Painstakingly detailed, with an original sound track by the Backbeat band, an all-star lineup led by Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner, the film truly makes us believe that the guys on-screen are the real thing.

Iain Softley directs with style and committment, and Stephen Dorff is stunning as Stuart. Gritty lensing by Ian Wilson adds to the film’s impact.

— Catherine Schulman

Screening Details

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]