Doc ’16 Bars’ Due on DVD Feb. 7 From MVD

The documentary 16 Bars will come out on DVD Feb. 7 from MVD Entertainment Group and Lightyear Entertainment.

It offers a rare glimpse at the human stories and songs locked away in our nation’s jails and prisons and follows a unique rehabilitation effort in a Virginia jail that encourages inmates to write and record original music. In the jail’s makeshift recording studio, four men collaborate to produce an album with Grammy-winner Todd “Speech” Thomas of Arrested Development. As the creative process unfolds, the incarcerated artists must confront the traumas of their past, and music becomes the key to unlocking a new chapter in their lives.

Two-time Grammy-winner Thomas is widely considered one of the godfathers of conscious hip-hop. Starting in 2017, he set out on a journey to the Richmond City Jail, where he conducted music workshops with inmates. His goal was to shed light on the complex issues in our criminal justice system by bringing the voices and stories of incarcerated people to a larger audience.

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Special features include music videos for “Inspire,” “Lost One” and “Freedom Wind.”

The film was nominated for Best Independent Documentary at the Black Reel Awards, won the Audience Choice Award at Doclands, won Best Documentary at the Downtown LA Film Festival, and won Best Music Film at the Macon Film Fest.

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An original soundtrack album will be released through Caroline/UMG.

Music Films ‘Martin Barre’ and ‘Bluebird,’ Biopic ‘Mrs. Lowry & Son’ Available on Disc From MVD and Cleopatra

Two music films, Martin Barre — Live in NYC and Bluebird, and a biopic on artist L.S. Lowry are just out on disc from MVD Entertainment Group and Cleopatra Entertainment.

Martin Barre, best-known as the guitarist in Jethro Tull, one of the biggest selling bands of all time, brings his famous guitar chops to the Big Apple in this rare concert in Martin Barre — Live in NYC. Available on DVD with two audio CDs of the entire concert, the deluxe collector’s edition comes in an eight-panel digipak. The titles covers his solo band live as they rock through the classic hits that earned him a reputation as one of the signature axemen of his era.

Bluebird, available on Blu-ray and DVD, chronicles the origins of megastars such as Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift while following emerging singer-songwriters as they chase their dreams inside The Bluebird Cafe, Nashville’s accidental landmark that has altered the course of music history. Its 35-year history is revealed through never-before-told stories from those that have worked, played, been discovered and helped preserve this unassuming strip-mall haunt. The film, an official selection at SXSW (2019), the Nashville Film Festival (2019) and the Newport Beach Film Festival (2019),  features interviews with Swift, Sam Hunt, Maren Morris, Faith Hill, Brooks, Trisha Yearwood and Vince Gill along with the stars of the hit TV series “Nashville.”

Mrs. Lowry & Son, available on DVD, chronicles the life of British artist L.S. Lowry (Timothy Spall), who lived all his life with his overbearing mother Elizabeth (Vanessa Redgrave). Bed-ridden and bitter, Elizabeth actively tried to dissuade her bachelor son from pursuing his artistic ambitions, whilst never failing to voice her opinion at what a disappointment he was to her.

‘Woodstock: 3 Days That Changed Everything’ Due on DVD Sept. 13 From MVD

MVD Entertainment Group will release the documentary Woodstock: 3 Days That Changed Everything Sept. 13 on DVD.

The film goes inside the familiar story of the concert happening to shed new light. Hosted by Mark Goodman and featuring Ritchie Havens, Arlo Guthrie, John Sebastian, Country Joe McDonald, original festival organizers Michael Lang and Artie Kornfeld, Wavy Gravy, Max Yasgur’s son Sam, and the Museum at Bethel Wood’s Woodstock historian Wade Lawrence, the documentary dives into the history, influence and performances of the event.

In “Act One: A Festival is Born,” viewers learn about the concert’s genesis. In “Act Two: The Show,” viewers hear from people who were there and follow the concert from start to finish. In “Act Three: The Legacy,” viewers learn how Woodstock helped re-shape the culture.

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Ken Burns’ ‘Country Music’ Coming to Disc and Digital Sept. 17

Country Music, a documentary series by director and producer Ken Burns, will bow on DVD, Blu-ray and digital Sept. 17 from PBS Distribution coinciding with its national broadcast on PBS.

In the series, Burns chronicles the history of the uniquely American art form, country music. Starting from its early days in the 1920s and following it through the mid-1990s, Burns takes viewers on a journey chronicling “America’s music” in 16 hours on eight discs.

The series focuses on the personal stories of the characters who created and shaped the genre — from the Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Bill Monroe and Bob Wills to Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Loretta Lynn, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Garth Brooks and many more — as well as the times and places in which they lived. Much like the music itself, the film tells stories of hardships and joys shared by everyday people. Country Music uncovers the roots of the music, including ballads, minstrel music, hymns and the blues and its early years in the 1920s when it was first recorded and called “hillbilly music.” It then shows how the music sprouted many new branches during the 20th century: Western swing and singing cowboys, bluegrass and honky tonk, rockabilly and the “outlaws,” the smooth Nashville Sound and harder-edged Bakersfield Sound, and many others — showing that country music never was just one style but a broad American mixture that became a major cultural force.

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The DVD and Blu-ray include more than three hours of extra bonus footage that will not be airing, including a behind-the-scenes, making-of featurette and additional material gleaned from hours of interviews.

Season Three of ‘Jamestown,’ Woodstock Doc and ‘NOVA: The Planets’ Among August Titles Coming to Disc and Digital From PBS

American Experience: Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation, NOVA: The Planets and the drama Jamestown, Season 3 are among the titles coming to DVD, Blu-ray and digital from PBS Distribution in August.

Due Aug. 6 on DVD and digital is American Experience: Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation. Filmmaker Barak Goodman’s documentary, which revisits the 1969 Woodstock concert for its 50th Anniversary, explores one of the most influential concerts the country has ever seen. In August 1969, half a million young people from journeyed from every corner of the country to a dairy farm in upstate New York for a concert unprecedented in scope and influence. The film examines the tumultuous decade that led to those three historic days — years that saw the nation deeply divided by Vietnam and racial, generational and sexual politics — through the voices of those who were present for the event that would become the defining moment of the counterculture revolution. Focusing on individuals that were at the concert, including concertgoers, security guards, performers and local residents, the film expands understanding of the event as not only a musical milestone, but a cultural phenomenon that served as a coda to the sixties and a harbinger of the decades to come.

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Also on tap Aug. 6 on DVD and digital is Jamestown, Season 3. From the producers of “Downton Abbey,” the dramatic series follows the lives of three women who decide to leave their dark pasts behind in England and journey across the ocean for a new life in 17th century America. In Season 3, it’s boom time in Jamestown, but success brings the scrutiny of the crown and there are few in the settlement who have nothing to hide. Relations with the Native Americans offer hope and advancement for the settlers until greed for land and a desire for power corrupts those with influence. What ensues is devastating conflict, the fallout of which will shape the New World for centuries to come. The ensemble cast includes Naomi Battrick, Sophie Rundle and Niamh Walsh as the leading female roles. The male leading roles include Max Beesley, Jason Flemyng, Stuart Martin, Kalani Queypo, Abubakar Salim and Raoul Trujillo.

Coming Aug. 27 on DVD, Blu-ray and digital is NOVA: The Planets. Narrated by Zachary Quinto (Star Trek), the series takes viewers on a 4.5 billion-year journey through the story of our solar system, brought to life in new detail revealed by the latest space missions. In five, one-hour episodes, The Planets combines CGI imagery, the latest planetary science research, and footage captured by orbiters, landers and rovers to reveal each planet like never before. Each planet has a unique landscape — from the rocky inner worlds of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, to the massive gas giant Jupiter to the mysterious, ringed Saturn to the cold, remote ice worlds of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The program explores how these extreme features reveal how our solar system formed.

Frontline: Sex Trafficking in America will be released Aug. 6 on DVD and digital. The documentary tells the stories of young women coerced into prostitution and follows one police unit that’s committed to rooting it out. In the film, award-winning director Jezza Neumann and producer Lauren Mucciolo (Poor Kids) immerse themselves with the Phoenix police unit that’s tackling child sexual exploitation, offering an inside look at the lucrative industry through unique access to a series of undercover, high-stakes police operations. They also film with young women who have escaped the trade. What’s revealed is a crime that’s both hidden in plain sight and growing — due in part to social media, where traffickers often start to groom and recruit young women and girls. With extensive and intimate access to local law enforcement, prosecutors, service providers and the women themselves, the film shines a light on the hidden reality of sex trafficking in America.

Aug. 13 comes the “NOVA” production Lost Viking Army on DVD and digital. Forty years ago, a sleepy village in the heart of England was the scene of a gruesome discovery when nearly 300 skeletons were unearthed in a mass grave. No one has been able prove who they were — until now. Bioarchaeologist Cat Jarman believes these bones are the last remains of the “Great Heathen Army,” a legendary Viking fighting force that invaded England in the 9th century and has long been lost to history. Armed with the latest scientific methods, Jarman’s team uncovers extraordinary human stories, including evidence of women warriors and a lost king reunited with his son in death. Filmmakers also use pioneering technology to hunt for the army’s lost camp.

Coming Aug. 6 on DVD and digital is State of the Art, a journey of 100,000 miles and 1,000 destinations in the search of 100 under-recognized American artists for an exhibition. The curatorial team of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., crisscrossed the nation to find contemporary art happening in unexpected places: the woods of North Carolina, the deserts of Nevada, the backstreets of Pittsburgh, the foothills of Arkansas and the riverbanks of New Orleans. The art and artists found by the team led to a groundbreaking exhibition of 227 works of contemporary art, many of which might otherwise have never been seen. The program captures the personal stories of seven of the diverse artists from this extraordinary exhibit.

Also due Aug. 6 is Tom Lehrer: Live in Copenhagen. Lehrer spent his brief, yet remarkable music career writing and performing satirical songs. Biting, intelligent, and socially conscious, his songs were accessible and intimate commentaries on society and politics in the 1950s and 1960s. Originally filmed for Danish television in September 1967, the film captures a rare concert recording and features many of his best-known songs, including “I Wanna Go Back to Dixie,” “MLF Lullaby,” “We Will All Go Together When We Go,” “When You Are Old And Gray,” “I Hold Your Hand In Mine,” “Send the Marines,” “The Irish Ballad,” “The Elements,” “Smut,” “The Hunting Song,” “My Home Town,” “Who’s Next,” “Poisoning Pigeons In The Park,” “National Brotherhood Week,” “Wernher Von Braun” and “The Vatican Rag.”

Concert Film ‘Pretenders With Friends’ Available in Blu-ray Combo Pack From MVD

The concert film Pretenders With Friends, which features the rock band The Pretenders with other rock luminaries, is available now in a Blu-ray/DVD/CD Combo Pack from MVD Entertainment Group.

In the film, the Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum selling band  — featuring the legendary Chrissie Hynde — performs with special guests, including Iggy Pop, Shirley Manson of Garbage, Kings of Leon and Incubus. The film was recorded live at the Decades Rock Arena in Atlantic City, N.J.

Songs include “Brass in Pocket”; “Message of Love” by Incubus, “I’m Only Happy When It Rains” by Shirley Manson, “Precious”; “Candy” by Iggy Pop and Chrissy Hynde; “Talk of the Town”; “Back on the Chain Gang”; “Drive” by Incubus; “Mystery Achievement”; “Fools Must Die” by Iggy Pop; and a “Middle of The Road” encore performance featuring The Pretenders with Iggy Pop, Incubus, Kings of Leon and Shirley Manson.

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The DVD includes bonus interviews with band members, a slide show and trailers.