By Paula Bernstein | Indiewire May 7, 2014 at 12:13PM
Kino Lorber has acquired all North American rights to "Finding Fela," the Alex Gibney documentary which had its world premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
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.'"