Senna director Asif Kapadia is producing a documentary on the life of late Grammy-winning singer Amy Winehouse (pictured), which Focus Features International (FFI) will sell internationally.
The doc will feature unseen archive footage and will portray the singer, who died in 2011 at the age of 27, using “her own words,” according to FFI, which promises a film showing “the genius in Amy’s art and the moving and tragic story of this young woman from London.”
The film will mark the third documentary effort for Kapadia, following on from his short Olympics doc The Odyssey and the Bafta-winning Senna, the latter of which profiled legendary F1 racing driver Ayrton Senna and holds the distinction of being the highest-grossing British documentary to date.
James Gay-Rees (Senna, Exit Through the Gift Shop) will produce the as-yet-untitled Winehouse film through Playmaker Films, Gay-Rees and Kapadia’s new production entity, and the doc will be co-produced by Universal Music.
FFI will introduce the project to buyers in Cannes next month. Alison Thompson, co-president of FFI, said: “Asif and James have the remarkable ability to bring a moving and thought-provoking story to life, as evidenced by Senna. We look forward to seeing their vision of Amy Winehouse.”
In a joint statement, Kapadia and Gay-Rees added: “This is an incredibly modern, emotional and relevant film that has the power to capture the zeitgeist and shine a light on the world we live in, in a way that very few films can.
“Amy was a once-in-a-generation talent who captured everyone’s attention; she wrote and sung from the heart and everyone fell under her spell. But tragically Amy seemed to fall apart under the relentless media attention, her troubled relationships, her global success and precarious lifestyle. As a society we celebrated her huge success but then we were quick to judge her failings when it suited us.”
Winehouse rose to international fame with her second album Back to Black, which has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide since its release in 2006, spawning hits such as Love Is a Losing Game, Rehab and Tears Dry on Their Own. She passed away from accidental alcohol poisoning, after several years spent battling drink and drug addiction.