Docs

PBS, Thirteen prep “How It Feels To Be Free” doc with Alicia Keys, Yap Films

PBS and WNET station Thirteen will premiere the documentary How It Feels To Be Free – produced by Yap Films and executive produced by Alicia Keys — in winter 2021 as part ...
July 28, 2020

PBS and WNET station Thirteen will premiere the documentary How It Feels To Be Free – produced by Yap Films and executive produced by Alicia Keys — in winter 2021 as part of PBS strand ‘American Masters’.

The film tells the story of how six African American female entertainers – Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, Diahann Carroll, Cicely Tyson and Pam Grier — “challenged an entertainment industry deeply complicit in perpetuating racist stereotypes, and transformed themselves and their audiences in the process.”

It will feature interviews and archival performances with all six women, as well as original conversations with contemporary artists influenced by them, including Keys, Halle Berry, Lena Waithe, Meagan Good, LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Samuel L. Jackson, as well a family members, including Horne’s daughter Gail Lumet Buckley.

The documentary — directed by Yoruba Richen (‘POV’: Promised Land, ‘Independent Lens’: The New Black) — is based on the book How It Feels To Be Free: Black Women Entertainers and the Civil Rights Movement by Ruth Feldstein.

How It Feels To Be Free is produced by Yap Films in association with American Masters Pictures, ITVS, Chicken & Egg Pictures and documentary Channel in Canada.

With Keys, executive producers are Lacey Schwartz Delgado, Mehret Mandefro, Elliott Halpern and Elizabeth Trojian.

Fremantle holds global distribution rights excluding the U.S. and Canada.

Photo: Nina Simone singing in Ronnie Scott club 1983/Janine Wiedel Photolibrary/Alamy Stock Photo

 

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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