Category Archives: Documentary

I Am Richard Pryor Trailer

Trailblazer, comic, icon. 

Richard Pryor always spoke his truth and opened the doors for countless comics and performers who came after him.

Directed by Jesse James Miller, the film explores and celebrates the life and career of the iconic comedian who lifted himself out of poverty to achieve worldwide success. The film features interviews with Tiffany Haddish, Sandra Bernhard, Mike Epps, Lily Tomlin, Howie Mandel, Jimmie Walker, Jennifer Lee Pryor, and more. 

I Am Richard Pryor comes to the Paramount Network on March 15th at 10/9c.

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Peter Jackson To Direct A New Beatles Documentary

Apple Corps Ltd. and WingNut Films Ltd. are proud to announce an exciting new collaboration between The Beatles and the acclaimed Academy Award winning director Sir Peter Jackson. 

The new film will be based around 55 hours of never-released footage of The Beatles in the studio, shot between January 2nd and January 31st, 1969. These studio sessions produced The Beatles’ Grammy Award winning album Let It Be, with its Academy Award winning title song. The album was eventually released 18 months later in May 1970, several months after the band had broken up.

The filming was originally intended for a planned TV special, but organically turned into something completely different, climaxing with The Beatles’ legendary performance on the roof of Apple’s Savile Row London office — which took place exactly 50 years ago today.

Peter Jackson said, “The 55 hours of never-before-seen footage and 140 hours of audio made available to us, ensures this movie will be the ultimate ‘fly on the wall’ experience that Beatles fans have long dreamt about – it’s like a time machine transports us back to 1969, and we get to sit in the studio watching these four friends make great music together.” 

Although The Beatles were filmed extensively during the 1960s – in concerts, interviews and movies – this is the only footage of any note that documents them at work in the studio.

The Let It Be album and movie, having been released in the months following The Beatles’ breakup, have often been viewed in the context of the struggle the band was going through at that time. 

“I was relieved to discover the reality is very different to the myth,” continues Jackson, “After reviewing all the footage and audio that Michael Lindsay-Hogg shot 18 months before they broke up, it’s simply an amazing historical treasure-trove. Sure, there’s moments of drama – but none of the discord this project has long been associated with. Watching John, Paul, George, and Ringo work together, creating now-classic songs from scratch, is not only fascinating – it’s funny, uplifting and surprisingly intimate”.   

“I’m thrilled and honoured to have been entrusted with this remarkable footage – making the movie will be a sheer joy.”

Jackson will be working with his They Shall Not Grow Old partners, Producer Clare Olssen and Editor Jabez Olssen. The footage will be restored by Park Road Post of Wellington, New Zealand, to a pristine standard, using techniques developed for the WW1 documentary film which has been nominated for a BAFTA for best documentary.

The untitled film is currently in production and the release date will be announced in due course. This film is being made with the full co-operation of Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon, and Olivia Harrison.

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See Brandi Carlile Sing For Women In Prison In New Mini-Doc

“My greatest heroes have really paired their music with humanitarian efforts, activism, so I wanted to do that right away,” Brandi Carlile says in a mini-documentary depicting her work with her own charitable Looking Out Foundation. The short film chronicles Carlile’s visit during the holidays to the Washington Corrections Center for Women in Gig Harbor.

For the past 10 years, the Washington native has gone inside to perform an acoustic set for inmates. In the above clip, shot during the 2017 holiday season, she sings her deeply personal “The Mother,” which she wrote after the birth of her first child, daughter Evangeline. Carlile is also seen being presented a Christmas wreath made by the inmates.

Read more HERE.

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Ana DuVernay To Direct Prince Documentary For Netflix

Filmmaker Ana DuVernay (Selma, A Wrinkle in Time) will direct a documentary about the late musician Prince. The as-yet-untitled documentary, which began shooting early this year, will be available to stream on Netflix.

“Prince was a genius and a joy and a jolt to the senses. He was like no other,” DuVernay shared. “He shattered every preconceived notion, smashed every boundary, shared everything in his heart through his music. The only way I know how to make this film is with love. And with great care. I’m honored to do so and grateful for the opportunity entrusted to me by the estate.”

Prince’s estate selected DuVernay specifically to helm the project, though Prince himself had reached out to her about collaborating on a project prior to his death in April of 2016. As part of the project, the director has full access to Prince’s estate, included his vast library of unreleased material.

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The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned From A Mythical Man Trailer

The documentary, The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned From a Mythical Man directed by Tommy Avallone follows one man’s journey to find meaning in Bill Murray’s many unexpected adventures with everyday people. 

Featuring rare and never-before seen footage of the comedic icon participating in stories previously presumed to be urban legend. Whether it be singing karaoke late at night with strangers or crashing a kickball game in the middle of the afternoon, Bill Murray lives in the moment and by doing so, creates magic with real people.

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Watch The First Trailer For Netflix’s Quincy Jones Documentary

Netflix has released the first trailer for its upcoming documentary on legendary record producer, singer and film producer, Quincy Jones.

Quincy is an intimate look into the life of icon Quincy Jones. The film seamlessly threads personal vérité moments with private archival footage to reveal a legendary life like no other. A unique force in music and popular culture for 70 years, Jones has transcended racial and cultural boundaries; his story is inextricably woven into the fabric of America. Beyond his own acclaim as a trumpeter, producer, conductor, composer and arranger, Jones’s inimitable gift to discover the biggest talents of the past half of the century is unprecedented. He has mentored and cultivated the careers of young talents, from Lesley Gore and Michael Jackson to Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith.

“It’s rare that somebody who has lived as much life as my dad is still interested in growing and knowing the next generation,” Rashida Jones says. “He is such a man of action and accomplishments, but we were so lucky to spend real time with him, to let him reflect on life and the larger picture. I feel honored to be able to share that with audiences all over the world.”

“There is really no one like Quincy, the sheer breadth of his work alone is unparalleled, but the story of him as a man has never been comprehensively told. It was a privilege to have his trust, allowing us to capture intimate moments giving insight into the fabric of the man,” added Alan Hicks.

Quincy Jones’s career as a composer, conductor, best-selling author, multi-media entrepreneur and producer spans decades. He stands today as one of the most successful and admired artists of the entertainment world and was named by Time Magazine as one of the most influential jazz musicians of the 20th century.

Jones is one of only 18 people who has won all four major annual American entertainment awards (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). He is the most Grammy-nominated artist of all time, with a total of 79 nominations, and has won 27 times (the second all-time highest number in history.) As producer and conductor of the historic “We Are The World” recording (best-selling single of all time), and Michael Jackson’s multi-platinum solo albums, “Off The Wall,” “Bad,” and “Thriller” (the best-selling album of all time), Jones stands as one of the most successful and admired creative artists/executives in the history of the entertainment world.

In 1985, Jones co-produced Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, which garnered eleven Oscar nominations and marked his debut as a film producer. Throughout his career, Jones has received seven Oscar nominations and received the film Academy’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Jones has won an Emmy Award for his score of the opening episode of the landmark TV miniseries, Roots, and in 2016 he received a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical for The Color Purple.

“It’s a rare opportunity to be able to present the definitive story of someone who has for over seven decades, not just influenced, but altered the course of culture. Combining his God-given creative gift with a near maniacal work ethic, Quincy Jones has done just that, marshalling every expression of the arts to their full potency resulting in everything from Thriller to The Color Purple,” said Lisa Nishimura, VP of Original Documentaries for Netflix. “Told through the rare and intimate lens of Directors Alan Hicks and Quincy’s daughter Rashida Jones, Quincy provides a fresh and unexpected journey into this legendary life, still in the making.”

Quincy is produced by Paula DuPré Pesmen and executive produced by Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh from Tribeca Productions and Adam Fell from Quincy Jones Productions and is set for release on September 21.

Watch The Ed Sheeran Songwriter Trailer

Songwriter is an intimate and personal look into the writing process of one of the world’s biggest artists – Ed Sheeran. 

Filmed by Murray Cummings, ‘Songwriter’ details the creation of Sheeran’s third studio album ‘÷’ and gives authentic insight into his life through never-before-seen home videos. Witness his creativity firsthand, from the very first chord to the finishing touch – the sounds become the songs on August 28th, exclusively on Apple Music.

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Watch The Love, Gilda Trailer

In her own words, comedienne Gilda Radner reflects on her life and career. Weaving together her recently discovered audiotapes, interviews with friends (Chevy Chase, Lorne Michaels, Laraine Newman, Paul Shaffer and Martin Short), rare home movies and diaries read by modern-day comedians inspired by Gilda (Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Cecily Strong), Love, Gilda opens up a unique window into the honest and whimsical world of a beloved performer whose greatest role was sharing her story.

Gilda Radner puts a smile on the faces of people who remember watching her as one of the original cast members of Saturday Night Live, where she created and portrayed such now-classic comic characters as Roseanne Roseannadanna, Emily Litella and Lisa Loopner. She quickly rose to meteoric fame in television, movies and on Broadway, and was declared ‘one of America’s sweethearts.’ Love, Gilda, directed by Lisa D’Apolito, is a true autobiography, told in Gilda’s words and in her own voice. Working with the Radner Estate, D’Apolito unearthed a collection of diaries and personal audio and videotapes documenting her childhood, her comedy career, her relationships and ultimately, her struggle with cancer. This never-before-seen footage and journal entries form the narrative spine of the documentary, allowing Gilda to tell her own story– through the laughter and sometimes the tears. Incredibly, she was able to find humor in even the darkest of times. Gilda’s spirit lives on in comedy as a female trailblazer who continues to inspire many present day comedic performers, including Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, and Cecily Strong. Also interviewed are SNL original cast members– Chevy Chase, Laraine Newman and Paul Shaffer– as well as, Lorne Michaels (SNL creator and producer), Alan Zweibel (SNL writer), Stephen Schwartz (Broadway composer); Andrew Alexander (CEO of Second City) and long-time friend Martin Short. Love, Gilda opens up a unique window into the honest and whimsical world of a beloved performer whose greatest role was sharing her story.

In theaters September 21st. 

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Watch Hulu’s The Search For Castle Rock Documentary 

Castle Rock may be the most notorious fictional town created by Stephen King, and it’s also the setting of a new Hulu Original series, premiering July 25. 

In this short documentary, we visit the actual places in Maine and explore the actual events which inspired King to write about Castle Rock. Then, we learn how the co-creators of the on-screen version of Castle Rock incorporated the town’s dark history into this original story set inside the Stephen King universe.

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Watch The Trailer For Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind

It’s been almost five years since the world lost the incredibly talented Robin Williams and the upcoming HBO documentary Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind will give audiences a look into the comedian’s past and his work. 

Directed by Marina Zenovich, the documentary debuted at this year’s Sundance for Zenovich’s third time and earned rave reviews from critics, currently holding a 100% rating on review aggregate Rotten Tomatoes based on 10 reviews. Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind will follow Williams through his life from childhood to his explosive popularity on stage as a stand-up comic and theater performer, as well as his personal family life as he got older and got married and had three children.

Williams’ career had a long and varied list of hits throughout including his starring role in Mork & Mindy plus feature films like comedies Mrs. Doubtfire and Good Morning Vietnam, the family-adventure movie Jumanji, dramas like Dead Poet’s Society and Good Will Hunting (for which he won an Oscar), and even thrillers like One Hour Photo.

The documentary will feature interviews with many of Williams’ colleagues and fellow comedians from over the years including Billy Crystal, Lewis Black, Eric Idle, Whoopi Goldberg, David Letterman, Steve Martin, Pam Dawber and Zak Williams. The documentary is set to debut on HBO and HBO Go on July 16.

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