Kino Lorber acquires “Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet”

(UPDATED) New York-based distributor Kino Lorber has picked up North American theatrical rights to Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet, a doc on a young guitarist who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease, while PBS America in the UK will air the film in January.
November 12, 2012

CORRECTION – 1:44 p.m., 11/13: Realscreen had incorrectly published that U.S. pubcaster PBS had picked up American TV rights for Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet from UK-based distributor Dogwoof. In fact, PBS America, which airs in the UK via Sky and Virgin Media, has acquired the film from Dogwoof, and will broadcast the doc on January 5, 2013. Realscreen regrets the error.

New York-based distribution company Kino Lorber has picked up the North American theatrical rights to Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet (pictured), a documentary on a young guitarist who was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Jason Becker will begin its theatrical run on December 14 in New York.

The doc, from first time director Jesse Vile, tells the story of Becker, who was diagnosed at the age of 19 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and was told by doctors that he wouldn’t make it to his 25th birthday.

More than two decades later, Becker has released five albums and his latest, Boy Meets Guitar – Volume 1 of the Youngster Tapes, was released earlier this year. Because of his ALS, Becker doesn’t have the ability to speak or move, but still composes music through a computer program that reads the movement of his eyes and head.

Jason Becker: Not Dead Yet tells this story using new home movies, photographs and interviews. Dogwoof owns the UK rights, while KinoSmith picked up the Canadian rights in May.

“The adjectives ‘tragic’, ‘powerful’ and ‘heart-breaking’ don’t do justice to Jesse Vile’s near-perfect film,” said Kino Lorber VP Elizabeth Sheldon.

“Vile’s portrait invokes far more than pity, with its inspirational story of the tragedy endured by both Becker and his family. The film is a true testament to the power of the human spirit and artistic talent.”

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 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.