Award of Merit – “Great Notch Inn” (USA)

Title: Great Notch Inn
Runtime: 5 min
Country: USA 
Director: Marcus Swanson
Placement: Award of Merit
Competition: December, 2020

Synopsis: Always making art. Always making music. Always making friends.

This the story of 92-year-old Chuck Hayden and the relationships he has built at New Jersey’s Great Notch Inn.

A native Oregonian, Chuck moved to New York City to study art, launching a career as an Art Director that spanned 35 years. Now retired, he continues to create — and inspire those around him — through painting and music.

Last year, he joined forces with 19-year-old music student Ben Samuelson to create jazz duo “19and91” (a play on their respective ages). Together, they perform at the Great Notch’s open mic nights and have discovered a community of musicians that has quickly become a family.

During Chuck’s career as an Art Director, he worked with many famous photographers, including Irving Penn. Inspired by an Irving Penn photo exhibition at The Met, he teamed up to art direct with his nephew Marcus Swanson — director and founder of Portland-based Swanson Studio — to craft a portrait series of Great Notch musicians and a mini-documentary about Chuck through the eyes of the iconic establishment’s patrons.

We hope you enjoy it.