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Award-winning filmmaker Lily Keber returns to Boone to present documentary Sept. 10

BOONE—Documentary filmmaker Lily Keber will present her film “Bayou Maharajah” Wednesday, Sept. 10, at 7:30 p.m. at Appalachian State University’s Belk Library and Information Commons Room 114. The screening is free and open to the public.

View larger imageThe late blues musician James Booker is the focus of a documentary to be shown Sept. 10 at Appalachian State University. (Photo by Anton Corbijn)

“Bayou Maharajah” explores the life, times and music of New Orleans piano legend James Booker. This roller coaster portrait traces Booker’s life from his early years as a chart-topping child prodigy and his star studded years playing as a sideman, to his outrageous solo career characterized by onstage performances in his underwear.

Through a mix of live performances and interviews with music legends such as Harry Connick Jr., Irma Thomas and Allen Toussaint, the film brings to life the unforgettable story of this amazing musician.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote, “This winning doc features a can’t miss subject and plenty of performance footage… A must see for aficionados of New Orleans Jazz, it is also accessible to viewers who don’t know Professor Longhair from Dr. John.”

“Bayaou Maharajah” is directed by Keber, and produced by Keber and Nathan Kohn. The film features appearances by Dr. John, Harry Connick Jr., Hugh Laurie, Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, Charles Neville and Douglas Brinkley. The film premiered at the prestigious South by Southwest festival, won the audience award at the New Orleans Film Festival, and was awarded Oxford American’s Best Southern Film of 2013.

Keber grew up in Boone, attending Green Valley Elementary and Watauga High School. A graduate of the University of Georgia, she learned filmmaking at the International Film and Television workshops in Rockport, Maine. She worked at the renowned Appalshop Media Arts Center in Whitesburg, Ky., before moving to New Orleans in 2007. Her documentary work has appeared on Democracy Now!, GRITtv with Laura Flanders, Current TV and local PBS programming.

For more information, contact Tom Hansell in University Documentary Film Services at 828-262-7730 or

University Documentary Film Services is a unit within Appalachian’s University College. University College consists of the university’s integrated general education curriculum, academic support services, residential learning communities, interdisciplinary degree programs and co-curricular programming—all designed to support the work of students both inside and outside of the classroom.