Directed by Emmy-winning filmmaker Ben Proudfoot

and Emmy-winning composer Kris Bowers

(“Green Book”, “When They See Us”, “Bridgerton”)

Executive Produced by

Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay

(“Selma”, “13th”, “When They See Us”)

A CONCERTO IS A CONVERSATION tells the story of virtuoso jazz pianist and film composer Kris Bowers as he tracks his family’s lineage through his 91-year-old grandfather from Jim Crow Florida to the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival



Ava DuVernay


Regina King

“We need to have these conversations. We need to hear these stories.”

“I just can’t thank you enough for making this short.”

Michael Moore

“A must-see!”

“It’s a film that is not to be missed.”

“Captures the beauty of two generations sharing their mutual experiences.”

Spectrum News 1 The SoCal Scene

“Poignant, elegant and lyrical.”

“Magical thrill.”

Les Roka, The Utah Review

“One of the best-edited shorts I have seen at Sundance. The story is incredibly touching, and I love the music throughout. The sound design in this documentary is phenomenal, never overshadowing the conversation that is going on and instead helping drive the film forward. Absolutely stunning.”

– Film for Thought

“An endearing and cementing love letter from a grandson to his grandfather that transcends generations, ethnicity and even music. This hit me hard…Sent the tears flowing.”



Deadline – Horace Bowers Sr.’s Remarkable Journey At Heart Of Oscar-Nominated Doc ‘A Concerto Is A Conversation’

AP NEWS – 2 documentaries up for Oscars tell stories of nonagenarians

Variety – Oscars Predictions: Best Documentary Short – Kris Bowers’ Touching Tribute To His Grandfather Has the Goods

The Hollywood Reporter Oscar-Nominated Doc Short ‘A Concerto Is a Conversation’ Maps a Journey From the Jim Crow South to the Walt Disney Concert Hall

Deadline – Grandfather, Grandson: Two Generations Meet Face To Face In Oscar-Shortlisted ‘A Concerto Is A Conversation’

Deadline – Ava DuVernay to Executive Produce Short Docu ‘A Concerto Is A Conversation’ From Kris Bowers and Ben Proudfoot

POV Magazine – A Conversation with ‘Concerto’ Director Ben Proudfoot

The New York Times – Film Club: ‘A Concerto Is A Conversation’

The Utah Review – Sundance 2021: Compelling documentary shorts led by poignant, lyrical A Concerto Is a Conversation; story-telling resourcefulness of When We Were Bullies

About the Directors


An award-winning short-documentary director and entrepreneur, Ben Proudfoot is the creative force behind Breakwater Studios. Dedicated to the art of the short documentary, the studio’s work has been recognized by the Sundance Film Festival, Tribeca, Hot Docs, The Emmys, The Webbys, James Beard Foundation, and Telluride among others. Proudfoot was named one of Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” for his leadership and innovation in the brand-funded documentary space. He hails from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and is a graduate of the University of Southern California. Proudfoot is an accomplished sleight-of-hand magician and has performed at The Magic Castle in Los Angeles.


Kris Bowers is a Grammy-nominated, Emmy Award–winning, and Juilliard-educated pianist and composer who creates genre- defying music that pays homage to his jazz roots—with inflections of alternative and R&B influences. Bowers has established himself at the forefront of Hollywood’s emerging generation of composers. Throughout his career, he has consistently championed an art practice guided by multidisciplinary collaboration.