News that I think most of you will love, directly from a NinaSimone.com press release…
@radical.media will develop and produce “the definitive documentary” on the life of the High Priestess of Soul, Nina Simone, in collaboration with her estate and daughter.
The feature documentary will include never-before-seen archival and performance footage, tracing Nina’s journey from poverty in the Jim Crow South, to her defining role in the Civil Rights struggle, her arrival on the world’s stage, and, finally, her self-imposed exile in France, where she would eventually pass in April, 2003.
“I’ve been waiting for many years to bring the true and complete story of my mom’s life to the screen”, said Nina’s daughter Simone, adding, “I’m excited to be working with partners who have a long history of producing important films and together we will be able to preserve my mom’s cultural and musical legacy.”
Jon Kamen, Justin Wilkes and Sidney Beaumont are producing the film in partnership with Jayson Jackson and Simone on behalf of the Nina Simone Estate.
A search for a director, as well as a distributor, are underway.
@radical.media’s library of work includes: the Academy Award and Independent Spirit Award-winning documentary The Fog of War; Grammy-winning Concert for George; and the Emmy Award-winning Under African Skies, Under African Skies, the Paul Simon/Graceland project, which follows all sides of the complex story behind the artistic, political and commercial divide of Simon’s historic album.
The only currently-existing feature-length documentary on the private and professional life of Simone that I’m aware of, is the.French-produced 1992 film, Nina Simone: La Legende (The Legend), which is based on her autobiography, I Put A Spell On You.
It covers much of her life, and includes footage from different periods of that life, and includes interviews with family and friends, as well as with Simone herself. It also contains lots of performance footage within it, featuring Nina doing what many of us know and love her most for.
With their resume, this newly-announced @radical.media project should be in good hands.