The second feature length  documentary explores the origins of the Rock in Opposition (RIO) movement in the late 70s, and how it continues to influence contemporary bands throughout the world.


Five Bands: ‘Five rock groups the record companies don’t want you to hear’. This was the tag in the poster of the first RIO festival in 1978, symbolizing the anti-commercial stance of these bands and the ‘uncompromising’ character of their music. RIO bands embrace musical styles such as progressive rock, Zeuhl, improvisation, noise, avant rock, jazz, classical, folk and often extreme experimentation. 

One Movement: United in their opposition to the music industry and the pressures of compromise over art, this collective of progressive bands started a movement that remains one of the reference points that many listeners, musicians, and distributors use to describe a cooperative approach of making and distributing non-mainstream music. 

A Legacy: Even when RIO as a movement was short lived at the time, it spearheaded the creation of its own progressive music subgenre, a category called RIO/Avant Progressive that is being used to label contemporary bands from across the world. 

The film also highlights eleven active RIO/Zeuhl/Avant progressive music bands from North America, Europe and Japan:

Aranis - Chamber Rock (Belgium)

Guapo - Zeuhl/Post-Rock (England)

Hamster Theater - Avant Folk (USA)

Magma - Zeuhl (France)

Miriodor - Avant Rock (Canada)

Present - Heavy Chamber Rock (Belgium)

Ruins Alone - Avant Zeuhl (Japan)

Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - Avant Metal (USA)

Thinking Plague - Avant Rock (USA)

Univers Zero - Chamber Rock (Belgium)

Yugen - Avant Rock (Italy)

Interviewed musicians that were active in the 70s include Chris Cutler (Henry Cow/Art Bears), Gerard Hourbette (Art Zoyd), Marc Hollander (Aksak Maboul), Christian and Stella Vander (Magma), Giorgio Gomelsky, Roger Trigaux (Present), Franco Fabbri (Stormy Six), Lars Krantz (Samla Mammas Manna), Ferdinand Richard (Etron Fou Leloublan), Bruno Meillier (Etron Fou Leloublan), Michel Berckmans (Univers Zero), Andy Kirk and Daniel Denis (Univers Zero).

In addition we’ll hear the opinions of many younger contemporary avant-progressive musicians that are members of some of the bands mentioned above, festival organizers, label owners, and fans of the RIO/Avant progressive scene.

Zeitgeist Media

This a Romantic Warriors - A Progressive Music Saga - Synopsis  

Inspired by classical progressive rock bands  of 40 years ago such as Gentle Giant, King Crimson, Emerson Lake and Palmer, and Pink Floyd, young bands of today have transformed progressive music into something new. Ignored by today’s music industry but empowered by the tools of the Internet, these young bands are trying to find their audience while crafting a personal sound as an alternative to mainstream music.

This award-winning 95-minute documentary film highlights ten contemporary progressive music bands:

Cabezas De Cera - Avant/Fusion (Mexico)

Cheer-Accident - Avant/Experimental (USA)

Deluge Grander - Symphonic (USA)

D.F.A. - Jazz/Fusion (Italy)

Karmakanic - Symphonic (Sweden)

La Maschera Di Cera - Symphonic (Italy)

Oblivion Sun - Symphonic (USA)

Phideaux - Symphonic (USA)

Qui - Jazz Canterbury (Japan)

Rob Martino - Chapman Stick Player (USA)

These musicians tell their stories, influences, creative process, challenges they face, and how they sell music in the era of Internet downloads. While the music’s international, cross-cultural appeal receives due coverage, the Eastern United States and the Baltimore-Philadelphia region, specifically, are acknowledged as the cradle of prog’s post-1970s artistic renaissance.


This film is also about the passion and spirit of progressive music genre, its music, its festivals, and the ecosystem that supports it.

The documentary won the 2011 Bronze Peer Award for Best Documentary, one of the most sought-after awards within the Mid-Atlantic film community. TIVA-DC sponsors the annual Peer Awards competition to celebrate excellence in local media.

This documentary is supported in part by funding from the Montgomery County government and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Maryland.

What reviewers said about the first Romantic Warriors Movie:


"A masterful job of capturing the essence of progressive music

as an underground phenomenon."

John Collinge, Editor, Progression Magazine


"An affectionate, entertaining, and wide-ranging survey of the contemporary East Coast prog scene."

Edward Macan

Author, "Rocking the Classics: English Progressive Rock and the Counterculture"


“This documentary reveals how well progressive rock remains an active source of great music nowadays – including lots of input from unsung old heroes and new champions of the genre.”

César Inca, Progressive Music Reviewer,


“An engaging look into the world of today's progressive rock movement.”

Sean Tonar,

"Romantic Warriors can claim to be the first documentary film that focuses not so much on the musical protagonists of the progressive rock scene, but rather on the people without whose loyalty and dedication the genre would have completely died out at the end of the Seventies."

Raffaella Berry,

"This is a great progressive music DVD! It's a more than 4.5 stars rating! For those of you who claim yourselves as proghead, you must have this! Keep on proggin' ...!"

Gatot Widayanto,

"Viewing Romantic Warriors almost gives you the envy to move over on the east coast and be part of the scene"

Hugues Chantraine,

"A well done and very enjoyable film on the underground prog scene here on the East Coast, and a DVD that anyone with a passing interest in the genre needs to check out."

Pete Pardo,



It is our pleasure to introduce to you our third film in the Romantic Warriors - A Progressive Saga series that will guide you through the amazing history, development of the Canterbury Scene and its influence on contemporary bands. 

The Canterbury Scene of the late 60s and early 70s marked a remarkable period in the history of British progressive rock music and, most notably, the development of jazz rock. A number of later bands that formed outside of Canterbury have been labeled as “Canterbury bands”  (including a few in Europe), some of these bands were founded by a member of Soft Machine or Caravan while others were obviously influenced by these Canterbury groups. The scene was a breeding ground for world class players of considerable harmonic sophistication who innovated and expanded the music of their time. 

Through interviews with "Canterbury Scene" musicians, clips of live performances, photographs, and current/archival footage, the film takes a closer look at the bands that are now considered a part of the Canterbury Family Tree. 

The film highlights the following  60s/70s Canterbury Scene:

  1. Wilde Flowers (UK)

  2. Soft Machine (UK)

  3. Caravan (UK)

  4. Gong (France)

  5. Delivery (UK)

  6. Egg (UK)

  7. Matching Mole (UK)

  8. Hatfield and The North (UK)

  9. Gilgamesh (UK)

  10. National Health (UK)

  11. In Cahoots (UK)

  12. Quiet Sun (UK)

  13. Supersister (Netherlands)

  14. Moving Gelatine Plates (France)

  15. The Muffins (USA)

Among the musicians of the Canterbury Scene (that were active in the 70s), the following have been interviewed for the film

Pye Hastings & Geoffrey Richardson, (Caravan)  Dirk "Mont" Campbell (Uriel, Egg), Brian Hopper, (Wilde Flowers, Zobe),  David Sinclair (Caravan, Hatfield and The North), Bill MacCormick (Matching Mole, Quiet Sun), Robert Jan Stips (SuperSister), Didier Malherbe (Gong) Phil Miller (Delivery, Hatfield and The North, National Health, In Cahoots), Roy Babbington (Nucleus, Delivery, Soft Machine), John Etheridge (Soft Machine), Didier Thibault (Moving Gelatine Plates), Patrick Forgas (Forgas), Benoit Moerlen (Gong, Pierre Moerlen’s Gong, Mike Oldfield’s Band, Gongzilla), Theo Travis (Soft Machine Legacy, Steven Wilson), David Newhouse (The Muffins), Richard Sinclair (Caravan, Hatfield & The North, Caravan of Dreams), and Daevid Allen (Gong, University of Errors).

Celebrated underground, the legacy of Canterbury music continues to flourish in the innovative work of contemporary bands such as:

  1. Soft Machine Legacy (UK)

  2. Forgas Band Phenomena (France)

  3. The Wrong Object (Belgium)

  4. Syd Arthur (UK)

  5. Planeta Imaginario (Spain)

In addition we'll hear the opinions of many younger contemporary musicians that are members of some of the bands mentioned above, Canterbury Scene experts, label owners, and fans of the Canterbury progressive scene. Other interviewees include Michel Deville, Susan Clynes, Antoine Leguet, Marc Capel, Alfonso Muñoz, Vasco Trilla, Liam Magill Joel Magill, Raven Bush, Fred  Rother, Bruce Gallanter, and Leonardo Pavkovic.

The film is sure to raise some controversy and debate. Most of all, however, it will send you back to listen to classic Canterbury cuts of the past, present -- and future.




Romantic Warriors III - Canterbury Tales

Romantic Warriors II - About Rock in Opposition

Romantic Warriors I - A Progressive Music Saga

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