Docs

C4 commissions “Freedom: George Michael”

Tentatively titled Freedom: George Michael, the Sony Music Entertainment UK-produced feature documentary is intended as a personal story of one of the most influential recording artists of all time.
September 15, 2016

A new, music-focused feature documentary showcasing the sometimes-turbulent life of UK pop star and record producer George Michael has been commissioned by Channel 4.

Tentatively titled Freedom: George Michael, the 90-minute film is intended as a personal story revealing  how a boy from north London became one of the most influential recording artists of all time and helped to re-write the rules of the music industry and celebrity.

The film is being produced by Sony Music Entertainment UK, and set to air on Channel 4 this autumn. It’s narrated by the artist himself, who details a particularly dramatic five-year period in his life in the early 1990s — including a love story that ended in tragedy, the making of 1990′s Listen Without Prejudice Vol.1 album, and a 1994 legal battle with his record company, Sony, where Michael unsuccessfully challenged the terms of his recording contract.

The doc will also include the original five supermodels from film director David Fincher’s Freedom! ’90 music video: Naomi Campbell, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, Tatjana Patitz and Linda Evangelista. Together, the women talk about the experience and celebrate the iconic music video. In addition, famous fans of the album will lend their thoughts, including Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Ricky Gervais, Mark Ronson, Liam Gallagher, Mary J Blige, Jean Paul Gaultier, Tony Bennett and James Corden.

Listen Without Prejudice Vol.1. was Michael’s second solo album, but the first where he has said he felt fully in control artistically. It’s set for re-release by Sony Music.

The feature documentary was commissioned by C4′s Jonny Rothery, commissioning editor of music and formats. It will be executive produced by David Austin, with BAFTA nominee Phillip Smith directing and produced by Steven Lappin. It is being distributed internationally by BBC Worldwide. U.S. cable network Showtime has acquired the feature documentary to air later this year.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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