Distributor Kino Lorber has acquired all North American rights to director Alex Gibney’s Finding Fela (pictured).
The documentary biopic about Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, which premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival, will begin rolling out in cinemas on August 1 with an exclusive engagement in New York.
Kino Lorber eventually plans to distribute the film in the more than 75 markets where the Broadway production based on the African music legend’s life, Fela! The Musical, was a hit.
Finding Fela will also screen during the Bonnaroo music festival in June, where Fela’s son Seun Kuti is scheduled to perform. A digital, VOD and DVD release will follow the theatrical run.
Produced by Jigsaw Productions, Knitting Factory Entertainment, Okayplayer and Okayafrica, the doc recounts the Nigerian musician’s social and political significance, his opposition to the Nigerian dictatorship of the 1970s and 1980, his political career and his impact on music as the creator of Afrobeat. The film also covers the conception and production of Fela!
It features rare footage from major concerts and his funeral as well as interviews with his children, former Black Panther party member Sandra Izsadore and musicians Paul McCartney and Questlove.
“I’m very proud of Finding Fela and am delighted that the film will have a robust theatrical release in North America, so that audiences can experience the story and the power of this extraordinary performer and fighter for social justice,” Gibney said in a statement. “As Fela has said, in fighting for a better possibility, ‘music is the weapon.’”