RADiUS-TWC has acquired North American rights to Twenty Feet from Stardom (pictured), which had its world premiere at Sundance in Utah last Thursday (January 17).
Directed by filmmaker Morgan Neville and produced by late A&M Records executive Gil Friesen, the film – which was Sundance 2013′s opening day U.S. doc – focuses on the world of back-up singers. RADiUS will release the film theatrically this year with a target date of late summer.
“We were overwhelmed by this beautiful film that focuses on the underdog – these incredible artists who – until now – have been largely unknown,” said RADiUS co-presidents Tom Quinn and Jason Janego in a joint statement. “We’ve been coming to Sundance for more than 15 years and we’ve rarely, if ever, seen an audience reaction like we did last night.”
TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein added: “I’ve always been drawn to the underdog story and can’t think of a more poignant subject matter that showcases such rare talent.
“The subtleties and nuances of this incredible story are so delicate and intimately told that we feel a great responsibility to ensure audiences everywhere have the opportunity to see it.”
Talking to realscreen about the doc earlier this week, Neville said: “To me the story is the rise of these African-American voices and their entrance into the recording world, ultimately coming out of their shell and becoming artists in their own right.
“It’s a different kind of music story. In a way the best music docs aren’t about music, they’re about something else.”
Submarine’s Josh Braun and David Koh negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers. Twenty Feet from Stardom was produced by Friesen with Neville’s Tremolo Productions.