John Ridley is having a good Toronto. Not only did “12 Years a Slave” leap to the top of the Oscar pack, for which he could well earn an adapted screenplay nomination, but his sophomore feature film “All Is By My Side,” a smart slice-of-life from the London launch of Jimi Hendrix’s career, has been acquired by Open Road. Ridley has succeeded where many have failed over the years, by making a Hendrix biopic that steers clear of cooperating with the Jimi Hendrix estate. Ridley skips Hendrix’s most famous music and relies instead on early covers such as “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.”
The movie stars musician Andre Benjamin as an utterly convincing Hendrix at the start of his guitar-riffing career, when Keith Richard’s girlfriend Linda Keith took him under her wing. Ridley makes a strong writer-director, grabbing strong performances from neophyte Benjamin and Brit actress Imogen Poots, and deploying a jump-cut editing style.
Open Road Films and XLrator Media secured North American theatrical distribution rights for “All Is By My Side,” which is produced by Darko Entertainment’s Sean McKittrick (“Bad Words”), Jeff Culotta and Danny Bramson, Freeman Films’ Brandon Freeman and Anthony Burns, Subotica’s Tristen Orpen Lynch, and Nigel Thomas of Matador Pictures, with Darko’s Edward H. Hamm, Jr., and John Ridley as executive producers
Here’s the THR review.