HBO Max to Stream Documentary on Lizzo

A new Max Original untitled Lizzo documentary will follow three-time Grammy Award-winning superstar singer, songwriter, rapper, flutist and actress Lizzo.
 
The HBO Max documentary shares the inspirational story behind her humble beginnings to her meteoric rise with an intimate look into the moments that shaped her hard-earned rise to fame, success, love and international stardom.
 
“To get the chance to work with someone we have admired and adored for so long is a dream come true,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content at HBO Max. “Lizzo’s formidable talent has entertained and inspired millions, and we are ecstatic to help share her incredible journey.” 

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“Growing up I never dreamed I’d get to experience all of the things I’ve accomplished in my life, and I’m just getting started,” said Lizzo. “I’m so excited I get to share and relive my journey with my fans and HBO Max. From ‘Cuz I Love You’ to my dramatic world tour, losing and gaining love, and creating my new album ‘Special,’ y’all get to see the amount of time, patience, blood, sweat and tears that went into this process. It takes ten years to become an ‘overnight success,’ and hopefully I can inspire other young creatives to keep going.” 

Disney+ to Stream Documentary on Elton John

Disney Original Documentary and Disney+ have announced the feature documentary Goodbye Yellow Brick Road: The Final Elton John Performances and The Years That Made His Legend.

From Academy Award-nominee R.J. Cutler and filmmaker David Furnish, the documentary will serve as the official feature on Elton John, comprised of unseen concert footage of him over the past 50 years, hand-written journals and present-day footage of him and his family. Following a festival run and limited theatrical release, the film will be available exclusively on Disney+. 

Rooted in Elton John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour,” the feature documentary film will capture his final months on the road, culminating in his final North American show at Dodger Stadium this upcoming November. The film will also look back at the first five years of John’s career when, between 1970 and 1975, he released 10 albums, seven of which went to No. 1 on the Billboard charts and became a global phenomenon. The documentary will include exclusive new interviews and performance clips from Madison Square Garden, London and other performance venues.

“There are no superlatives left to describe Elton John and his impact on music and culture — he’s simply unrivaled,” Bob Chapek, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement. “Like a good Disney story, Elton’s music has both universal appeal and the ability to connect with audiences on a deeply personal level. He has been part of the Disney family since 1994 when he helped make The Lion King an instant classic, and we could not be more excited to collaborate with him on this new documentary.”

“Working with R.J. Cutler and David Furnish on what will undoubtedly become the definitional film about the iconic Elton John is a great honor,” Ayo Davis, president of Disney Branded Television, said in a statement. “Their incredible vision and intimate access to exclusive, never-before-seen anecdotes and footage will provide the deepest, most captivating insight yet into one of the world’s most beloved and prolific artists.”

In addition to directing, R.J. Cutler will also produce the film under his company, This Machine Filmworks, as will David Furnish, who will produce under his and Elton John’s formed Rocket Entertainment. Trevor Smith will also serve as producer. Joining as executive producers are John Battsek, Jane Cha Cutler and Elise Pearlstein.

“What a thrill and an honor it is that David Furnish and I get to create this intimate and unique look at one of the world’s most celebrated artists,” director and producer Cutler said in a statement. “As it has for so many others, Elton John’s music has had deep meaning for me for decades, and this opportunity is nothing short of a career highlight and privilege.”

“Elton and I could not think of a better collaborator than R.J. Cutler for a film that represents more than just Elton’s career — it’s his life,” Furnish said in a statement. “From the Troubadour to Dodger Stadium, we knew that R.J. would help guide Elton’s story and its many layers in a way that feels authentic and evocative. We’re ecstatic to be working together.”

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Cutler is the director, producer and writer of four-time Emmy-nominated and Oscar-shortlisted feature documentary Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry, about music sensation Billie Eilish. His additional feature documentary credits include Critics’ Choice Award-nominated Belushi, Oscar-nominated The War Room, Emmy-nominated A Perfect Candidate, the Sundance Award-winning The September Issue, the Peabody Award-winning and Oscar-shortlisted Listen to Me Marlon, the Grierson Award-winning Thin and The World According to Dick Cheney.

Doc ‘The Beatles and India’ Arrives on DVD and Blu-ray June 21 From MVD

The feature documentary The Beatles and India, from Silva Screen Productions and Renoir Pictures, will be released on DVD and Blu-ray June 21 from MVD Entertainment Group.

The documentary examines how Indian music and culture shaped the music of the band and explores how The Beatles served as ambassadors of the pioneering World music sound and cultural movement. In 1968, The Beatles had achieved mass fame and fortune yet were searching for deeper meaning in their lives. Under the spiritual guidance of Indian guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, The Beatles took a trip to Rishikesh, India, to study Transcendental Meditation. Drawing together an expansive archive of footage including contemporaneous locale shooting in India, recordings, photographs and first-hand interviews, The Beatles and India documents this East-meets-West touchstone in pop-culture history.

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Inspired by Ajoy Bose’s book Across The Universe — The Beatles In India, the documentary was produced by British Indian music entrepreneur Reynold D’Silva and directed by Bose (his directorial debut) and cultural researcher Pete Compton.

The Beatles and India has been awarded Best Film Audience Choice and Best Music at the 2021 U.K. Asian Film Festival “Tongues on Fire.” The film has also been nominated for Best Documentary at the 2022 New York Indian Film Festival.

Doc ‘Banksy Most Wanted’ Due on Transactional Digital May 13 From Level 33

The French documentary feature film Banksy Most Wanted will be released for digital purchase and VOD May 13 from Level 33 Entertainment.

Directed by Aurelia Rouvier and Seamus Haley and featuring Robin Barton (The Man Who Stole Banksy, The Banksy Job), the film sets out to provide an in-depth look into one of the art world’s biggest unanswered mysteries — who is Banksy? Banksy is a household name, but behind this name hides a multitude of stories, artworks, stunts, political statements and identities. The documentary draws an in-depth portrait of the masked Robin Hood of the art world. Each investigation reveals a facet of the artist, his political views, his commitment to environmental causes and political refugees, his links with the music scene, and his entrepreneurial side.

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The film was an official selection at the Tribeca Film Festival and a nominee in the Golden Star Feature Documentary Competition at the El Gouna Film Festival.

 

Doc ‘Have You Heard About Greg?’ Headed to Transactional Digital June 21 From Virgil

The documentary Have You Heard About Greg? will be released for digital purchase and on VOD June 21 from Virgil Films.

Have You Heard About Greg? puts a human face on the disease of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The film features experts committed to the fight against Alzheimer’s who share their experience and wisdom about how to deal with an invisible enemy that is quietly killing millions of people each year around the world and will affect millions more in years to come.

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Doc ‘Fair Play’ Available On Demand From Gravitas Ventures July 8

Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to distribute Hello Sunshine’s documentary Fair Play and will release it in select theaters and on demand on July 8.

About the unequal division of labor in the home, the documentary is based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name from author Eve Rodsky.

Directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom and featuring interviews with Melinda Gates, C. Nicole Mason and Congresswoman Katie Porter, Fair Play takes viewers into the homes of real families that are on a journey to balance their home life. It doesn’t take long to realize that they aren’t really fighting about dishes in the sink. They are fighting about much bigger issues, problems that affect millions of couples and families across the globe. Immersed in these couples’ lives, the viewer sees their struggles, but also their triumphs. They learn how communication and a plan can have a life-changing impact, creating more connectedness with the most important people in their lives — their families.

“The home presents so small but it speaks to a much larger issue which is about reframing the value of time,” said the book’s author Rodsky in a statement. “Is an hour holding your child’s hand in the pediatrician’s office as valuable as an hour in the boardroom? We believe it is. This film aims to spark a conversation that fosters true fairness and healthy partnerships, starting with our most important organization, the home.”

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“Gravitas is proud to partner with Hello Sunshine in the release of Fair Play in theaters and on VOD this summer,” Bill Guentzler, senior director of acquisitions, said in a statement. “We feel that this documentary can be a game-changer for many people by smartly and entertainingly digging into the dilemma facing many households today, balancing tasks and responsibilities.”

Doc ‘The Quest: Nepal’ Headed to Digital May 24 From Gravitas Ventures

Gravitas Ventures has acquired North American rights to the documentary The Quest: Nepal and will release it on TVOD/digital platforms May 24 timed to International Everest Day May 29.

It follows filmmaker and host Alex Harz’s personal journey through the culture of Nepal, including his harrowing climb of Mt. Everest. The film is a quest to deeper understand and climb the most iconic mountain in the world while unveiling the fascinating culture, history and nature of Nepal. Viewers visit one of the most surreal cities on earth, Kathmandu, before embarking with the climbers on the expedition in the film.

“I summited at 12:30 p.m. Nepal time on May 21, and had the whole summit to myself for 45 minutes alongside my climbing partner and Sherpa brother, Tashi Sherpa (as seen in The Quest: Nepal),” filmmaker and climber Harz said in a statement. “This is not only unheard of to have the whole upper mountain and summit to yourself, but was completely unexpected and unplanned for as well. The opportunity to bring this first-hand, life changing experience to audiences is a gift I’m truly grateful to offer.” 

International Everest Day commemorates the first time Everest was successfully summited on May 29, 1953, by Sir Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay of Nepal, which is referenced in the film. Tashi and Harz  were all alone like Hillary and Norgay were back in 1953.

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The Quest: Nepal has won awards at the Buenos Aires International Film Festival, New York International Film Awards, Santa Monica Film Festival, Accolade Competition, Barcelona International Film Festival, Europe Film Festival U.K. (EFFUK), Las Vegas International Film & Screenplay Festival, Silk Road Film Awards Cannes and the Vegas Movie Awards.

Music Doc ‘Oasis Knebworth 1996’ Available for Digital Rental and Purchase

The music documentary Oasis Knebworth 1996 is available for digital rental and purchase from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Directed by Grammy Award-nominee Jake Scott, Oasis Knebworth 1996 celebrates the relationship between Oasis and their fans that made the largest concert of the ’90s possible. It is a story told entirely in the moment through the eyes of the fans who were there, built around extensive and never-before-seen archive concert and backstage footage from the event, with additional interviews with the band and concert organizers.
 
The band’s two record-breaking nights at Knebworth took place August 10-11, 1996, with more than a quarter of a million young music fans from all over the world converging on Knebworth Park, Hertfordshire. 

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Featuring a setlist including “Columbia,” “Acquiesce,” “Champagne Supernova,” “Don’t Look Back In Anger,” “Live Forever,” the orchestra backed “I Am The Walrus” and “Wonderwall,” the Knebworth concerts were both the pinnacle of the band’s success and the landmark gathering for a generation.

Doc Series ‘Menudo: Forever Young’ Streaming on HBO Max Starting June 23

The four-part Max original documentary “Menudo: Forever Young” debuts with all episodes June 23 on HBO Max. 
 
From filmmakers Ángel Manuel Soto (Max original “Charm City Kings”) and Kristofer Ríos  (“Havana Skate Days”), the documentary will have its world premiere at the 2022 Tribeca Festival June 11 in New York. 
 
The series chronicles the rise and fall of the most iconic Latin American boy band in history, bringing viewers into the world of  the popular teen idols’ global tours, magazine covers, ’80s outfits, and screaming fangirls. But the four-part documentary reveals that behind the glitz and glamour was a web of abuse and exploitation at the hands of the band’s manager, Edgardo Diaz. Through revealing interviews with former Menudo members, the film examines how this extravagant facade was disguising serious wrongdoings by Diaz. 

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“The Puerto Rican diaspora in New York played a critical role in the success of Menudo, and its crossover in the U.S., shutting down traffic for blocks surrounding the band’s hotel and selling out Madison Square Garden on multiple occasions,” Soto said in a statement. “We couldn’t be more excited to premiere this series in their backyard at TriBeCa and honor their contribution to the band’s legacy.” 

Doc ‘End of the Line’ Available on Digital and on Demand June 14 From Gravitas Ventures

The feature documentary End of the Line will be released on digital and cable on demand June 14 from Gravitas Ventures.

The film, from award-winning filmmaker Emmett Adler, is about the New York City subway crisis and a long overdue reckoning on infrastructure. Establishing the vital economic importance and grandeur of New York City’s historic subway system, the film dives into its dire modern-day troubles picking up in the late 2010s when flooding, overcrowding, power failures and derailments have become commonplace. After a particularly bad spate of disasters in the summer of 2017, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proclaims a state of emergency and hires a new international wunderkind executive named Andy Byford to save the subways. Byford, an earnest Briton with an impressive resume, enters as a charismatic would-be hero.

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As the political turmoil behind the subway’s decline comes into sharp focus, scenes in barbershops, bodegas and bakeries show the frustration and devastation among business owners and residents who are caught in the middle. Ultimately, the COVID-19 pandemic makes things worse and brings to light America’s need to shore up its infrastructure in cities across the country and the inequality struggles that are central to this debate. 

The film is dedicated to the heroic New York City transit workers who lost their lives to the COVID-19 pandemic.