The film tells the story of musician and activist Fela Kuti, who is credited by creating Afrobeat and helping to bring a change towards democracy in Nigeria. The film also tracks the creative process behind “Fela!,” the hit Broadway musical directed and co-conceived by choreographer Bill T. Jones.
In a review of the film from Sundance, Mary Sollosi wrote, “However problematic his politics, religion or personal life were, Kuti’s
musical talents were undeniable, and provide the heartbeat of ‘Finding
Fela,’ leaving you wishing for more (the 120 minute running time was
reportedly cut down from over three hours).”
“Finding Fela is not only the definitive documentary on music legend
Fela Kuti, but also the most in-depth and comprehensive film about how
Mr. Kuti influenced music, politics and art worldwide – and how we’re
still coming to terms with his larger-than-life legacy,” said Kino
Lorber CEO Richard Lober.
Kino Lorber will release the film theatrically beginning on August 1 with an exclusive engagement at IFC Center before opening in DC, Boston, Atlanta and elsewhere throughout the country.
The film will also screen at the Bonnaroo music festival on Friday, June 13, where Fela’s son, musician Seun Kuti, will appear for a special Q&A and performance before the screening.
“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,” said director Alex Gibney. “As Fela has said, in fighting for a better possibility, ‘music is the weapon.'”