"The pursuit of music is basically the pursuit of oneself...a very spiritual undertaking." 
— Rick Kilburn, Jazz Bassist/Producer



A 12 x award winning and 10x nominated short documentary film.

From Canada to New York City, performing with jazz greats like Dave Brubeck to Mose Allison, here's a glimpse into the zone with multi-award winning, Vancouver Island Bassist and Producer Rick Kilburn. 

Producer/Editor: Kerilie McDowall

Technical Supervisor: Todd Jones

Production Assistance: Jocelyn Matwe
Camera: Doug Tombe / Stas Bobkov



Members of the press and distributors can request a password for complimentary viewing of the short made-for-TV film In the Zone: Rick Kilburn, contact Kerilie to inquire. Press information with links to Kerilie's articles, photos, film hits, music track samples and much more are located on the EPK and In the Zone: Rick Kilburn pages at www.kerilie.com. An archive of Kerilie's former jazz radio show and a music page with artist information with links on the contact page are some of what can be sampled on the site.


Kerilie McDowall first interviewed Rick Kilburn for INSPIRED magazine in Canada and the article led Kerilie to the idea to shoot a short film when she was given the green light by the television Shaw Spotlight Supervisor Cameron McLean. In the Zone: Rick Kilburn was shot in Qualicum, BC on Vancouver Island in Canada at The Old School House (TOSH) and at the home and music studio of Rick Kilburn in May 2019. Kerilie McDowall and Rick Kilburn examined family photo albums, old film footage for use in the film and shot new footage of Rick performing and improvising solo on his upright bass, and playing at TOSH with pianist Ron Hadley. The short was released in March 2020 just days before COVID regulations were first put into place in Canada.

Interesting to note is that the film almost did not get released. The television studio has been closed temporarily and McDowall almost lost the opportunity to release the film because of COVID regulations. Thanks to the exceptional team at Nanaimo's Shaw Spotlight, the short was released just in time to air online and on television.


Photo of Rick Kilburn by Clifford Anderson

Multi-Hollywood award-winning, "In the Zone: Rick Kilburn," short film director Kerilie McDowall is a former radio host and global Rhythm’a’ning jazz podcast producer. She is a writer for The Discourse and freelance with other publications and was a music critic/writer contributor for the American jazz magazine DownBeat (2016-2020). As a former volunteer live radio host, producer/on-air engineer, she listened to thousands of creative, jazz and improvised Canadian, US and global recordings during her 18 years in the radio industry. As a #1 globally ranked jazz podcast radio host on Player FM, McDowall interviewed Canada’s elite jazz and creative music artists including JUNO winners and Order of Canada recipients. 

A jazz guitarist, instructor and music composer in the 90’s in Vancouver, McDowall is a York University Bachelor of Fine Arts music graduate. Her area of study was New Music Composition and Classical and Jazz Guitar Performance. A current guitar instructor, McDowall has 17 years of guitar instruction experience and 34 years of music industry expertise and currently instructs privately at her business Canadian Online Guitar Lessons.

Director/guitarist Kerilie McDowall (Image by Dirk Heydemann.)

McDowall sits on the Polaris Music Prize jury, judged the JUNO Awards from 2016-18 and has judged the annual DownBeat Critics Poll for several years. McDowall hosts workshops with new and established recording artists and arts organizations. Client organizations have included Nanaimo Opera and Bard to Broadway Theatre.

With her Nanaimo business in past years McDowall conducted PR, media liaison, publicity and writing work for jazz musicians Dan Brubeck, Mike Allen, Marianne Trudel with Ingrid Jensen and others. McDowall has produced Nanaimo jazz and art music concerts with Dan Brubeck, France’s award-winning pianist Benoit Delbecq, the island’s Roger Baird and Vancouver jazz saxophonist Mike Allen.

In 2016 McDowall won the Atlanta, Georgia Black Women & The Arts Awards Stiletto Woman of Distinction Award and was Nanaimo Magazine’s Celebrity of the Month in 2016 and 2021. 

Photo of Kerilie McDowall

Kerilie volunteer hosts and directs television shows at SHAW Spotlight. A past host of Community Producers, currently McDowall co-hosts with others as a volunteer on SHAW Spotlight Nanaimo, Canada’s The Show. As a volunteer television director, McDowall directed SHAW TV’s Coast Connections weekly then bi-weekly from October 2015 to March 2020 pre-COVID, as well as other SHAW Spotlight television productions occasionally like Change the World and Wise Folks.

Kerilie just released her first short mini-documentary film as a director/host/producer during COVID-19 on March 19, 2020 as a SHAW volunteer with the assistance of Cameron Mclean, Todd Jones, Jocelyn Matwe, Stas Bobkov and SHAW Spotlight volunteer Doug Tombe. 


The 12x award-winning short documents the life and career of multi-award-winning Canadian jazz bassist and producer Rick Kilburn, who has performed with artists ranging from Chilliwack and Mose Allison to Dave Brubeck and Chet Baker. Add in an endlessly long list of others.

Canada’s Rick Kilburn, a former New York City resident, has received four Canadian JUNO awards, has formerly shortlisted for a Grammy, and has received other west and east coast awards for his extensive work with musicians as a jazz record producer. As a bassist, he has worked with the elite of the jazz world including Dave Brubeck, Dan Brubeck and family, Jerry Bergonzi, Chet Baker, Diana Krall, Paul Desmond, Lionel Hampton, Joe Lovano, Kenny Werner, Joanne Brackeen, Mose Allison and countless others. Always with a recording project on the go as a record producer, bassist Kilburn performs currently through live streaming and live and online events. The short film documents Kilburn’s life and includes solo jazz improvisation, film clips of Kilburn performing, photographs, and stories.

Kilburn as a bassist-composer, spent over a decade in New York learning the craft of production while recording or  performing as a professional jazz bassist with famous US jazz icons like Dave Brubeck and Chet Baker. Eventually, Kilburn returned to Canada running several recording studios, working on continuous projects including instructing at the prestigious Banff Centre for the Arts, and becoming a four-time JUNO-winning producer and West Coast Music Award and East Coast Music Award winner.

An avid golfer, Kilburn jokes a lot in the short and compares playing the bass to golf, “It’s worse than golf actually. It’s kind of a love-hate relationship…I just close my eyes and go —like abstract painting,” says Kilburn.

Director McDowall was initially inspired by filmmaker Director Judy Chaikin’s jazz documentary film, The Girls in The Band, and it led to her having the desire to experiment with local opportunities in filmmaking, television directing, and TV hosting. She has had many jazz and film mentors along the way and is inspired by Kilburn himself.

”Rick passes along deeply sensitive wisdom, and over the years amongst many Canadian interviews, he remains as one of my favorites. He is one of the most clever bassist and producers around. He has passed along masterful knowledge and has been admirable during our friendship working on this film over recent years. I created this short film during moments in my spare time in 2019 while running a business and I am thankful that he and his family were ultra-patient with the ten-month-long filmmaking process. It’s an uplifting and positive story that provides a temporary escape from too much overwhelming news out there. Explore Kilburn’s jazz world. It’s inter-generational and inspiring,” says McDowall.

Kerilie McDowall's Nanaimo mini-documentary film about Vancouver Island/Vancouver, BC resident jazz bassist/producer/composer Rick Kilburn, “In the Zone: Rick Kilburn,” has now won twelve awards and received 10 nominations. In June 2021 the short achieved a third Hollywood award win. Film director and Canadian Polaris Music Prize juror Kerilie McDowall and her crew won the June 2021 Best Web and New Media award at IndieX Film Fest in Hollywood, Los Angeles. At Hollywood's Indie Short Fest the short just received an Outstanding Achievement Award for Best Web and New Media, and an Honorable Mention Award for Best Web and New Media at the Independent Shorts Awards in LA in March 2020. Photo of In the Zone: Rick Kilburn Director Kerilie McDowall volunteering at Shaw Spotlight by Todd Jones.

The short won Best Documentary at the London International Monthly Film Festival and Best Canadian Documentary at the Toronto Independent Film Festival of CIFT. Rick was honoured to reach 11.4 million hits on the IMDB STARmeter in November 2021, and Kerilie McDowall was awarded in summer 2021 by the Seoul International Short Film Festival as Best Director.  Later in October 2021, McDowall and her team won an Honorable Mention for Best Documentary at the Tokyo International Monthly Film Festival and Best Documentary Short and Best Inspirational Film Awards of Prestige from the Vegas Movie Awards. After this, the short received 9 nominations from Filmhaus Berlin, Germany in the following categories:

Best Documentary Short, Best Independent Film, Best Zero-Budget Short, Best First-Time / Directorial Debut, Short, Best Documentary Director, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Podcast or Documentary Host/Presenter film categories.

The short was also previously nominated at Paris, France’s Beyond the Curve International Film Festival for Best Original Music - Main Category and has been selected numerous times in countries from all over the world, screening in Japan, China, and Korea.

In November 2021, the short won Best Editing of a Documentary for Milan through Film Fest International and was screened in the United Kingdom. The team and cast are also honoured that the mini-documentary was also selected and shortlisted by the Hong Kong International Short Film Festival and won Best Documentary Short at their festival for 2021. Just recently in October 2022, the cast and crew were thrilled that the film won a Best Short Documentary Award from the Japan International Film Festival.

With grateful thanks to Nanaimo's Shaw Spotlight television team for making this short possible. 

If you would like to contact or interview Kerilie McDowall, Rick Kilburn, or the film team, drop us an email we love to hear from you.

(Shown in poster above right: Bassist Rick Kilburn. Poster photo by Dane Warren. Shown left: Image by Dirk Heydemann of HA Photography https://www.haphotography.com/.) More information: https://filmfreeway.com/KerilieMcDowall https://www.imdb.com/name/nm12671512/

(Shown above: Ron Hadley Trio featuring Jim Kilburn, guitar; Ron Hadley, piano; Rick Kilburn, bass. Photo by Clifford Anderson.)


(Shown in photo late legendary pianist/composer Dave Brubeck and Rick Kilburn photo by Ross Taggart.)

IndieX Short Film Fest 
Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA 

Best Web and New Media Award Winner June 2021.

Indie Short Fest 
Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA 

Outstanding Achievement Best Web and New Media Award Winner June 2021.

Independent Shorts Awards 
Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA 

Honorable Mention Best Web and New Media Award Winner. 

Screened in Seoul, South Korea  
Seoul International Short Film Festival  
Official Selection 

Best Director Award

Toronto Independent Film Festival of Cift 
Toronto, Ontario, Canada 

Best Canadian Documentary

London Monthly International Film Festival  
London, United Kingdom 

Best Documentary

Tokyo International Monthly Film Festival
Tokyo, Japan

Honorable Mention Best Documentary Short

Vegas Movie Awards
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Best Inspirational Film 
Award of Prestige

Vegas Movie Awards
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Best Documentary Short
Award of Prestige

Milan-Film Fest International,
Milan, Italy

Best Editing of a Short Documentary

Hong Kong International Short Film Festival
Hong Kong, China

Best Documentary Short

Japan International Film Festival
Tokyo, Kanto, Japan

Best Documentary Short


FILMHAUS Berlin, Germany:
Berlin, Germany

Best Documentary Short

Best Independent Film

Best Zero-Budget Short

Best First-Time / Directorial Debut

Short, Best Documentary Director

Best Cinematography

Best Film Editing

Best Original Score

Best Podcast or Documentary Host/Presenter

Beyond the Curve International Film Festival:
Paris, France

Best Original Score Main Category


Tokyo International Short Film Festival

Tokyo, Japan, 

Screened and Finalist


Finalist for Best Short Documentary 
Hollywood, Los Angeles, USA. 


Montreal Independent Film Festival 
Montreal, Quebec, Canada 

Official Selection.

Tokyo International Short Film

(Above right and right: Images of Rick Kilburn by Dirk Heydemann  of HA Photography. https://www.haphotography.com/)

Festival  Tokyo, Japan 
Finalist, Screening. 

Toronto International Women Film Festival Toronto, Canada  

Official Selection  

Beyond the Curve International Film Festival  

Paris, France  

Official Selection and Finalist  

Berlin, Germany

Official Selection

(Photo above of Rick Kilburn, NYC loft.)

Milan, Italy

Official Selection

Hong Kong International Short Film Festival

Official Selection


New York International Women Festival invite  

Costa Brava Film Festival invite  

War of Films invite 

London International Monthly Film Festival invite


Toronto International Women Film Festival  


Hong Kong International Short Film Festival 


Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival 


Ferrara Film Corto


World Cinema Milan


Sundance Film Festival 


Tokyo International Short Film Festival  


Tampere Film Festival  


Whistler Film Festival + Summit  


Vancouver Independent Film Festival invite  


Slamdance Film Festival  


Cannes Film Awards invite  


Tokyo International Monthly Film Festival invite  


Vancouver International Women In Film Festival 


Lonely Wolf: London International Film Festival invite


Vegas Movie Awards invite


Filmhaus Berlin invite 


Swedish International Film Festival invite


Filmhaus Berlin invite 

Swedish International Film Festival invite

(Rick Kilburn above right: Image by Dirk Heydemann of HA Photography https://www.haphotography.com/. Photo shown left of Jim and Rick Kilburn by Clifford Anderson.)

For interviews/bios and information visit PRESS/EPK.

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