Heaven Before I Die

Institute History

  • 1984 Directors Lab


A musical adventure set contemporary New Orleans. It follow 18-year old trumpeter Leroy Washington through the Carnival streets on an odyssey in search of a legendary horn, a once-in-a-lifetime jazz band, the painful secrets of his past, and the keys to his future. His quest takes him on a tour of the Crescent city's blues clubs to street parades, block parties and Mardi Gras Indian rehearsals—and leads him into a confrontation in which he much take responsibility for himself and his cultural heritage, or lose his soul.


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]