News today for two hot docs out of this past Sundance: Alex Gibney’s “Finding Fela,” on the revolutionary creator of Afrobeat music, now has North American distribution from Kino Lorber, while Todd Miller’s “Dinosaur 13,” scooped up in Park City by CNN Films, has a theatrical day-and-date set from Lionsgate.
Kino has given “Finding Fela” an August 1 release in New York, with a rollout to Boston, DC and Atlanta between August 8 and 15. Here’s the official synopsis of the film, which is one of two music-oriented documentaries Gibney has this year:
Finding Fela tells the story of Fela Kuti’s life (1938 –
1997), his music, and his social and political importance. This in-depth look
at the man who created Afrobeat (a fusion of Jazz, traditional West African
rhythms, Funk, Highlife, and psychedelic rock) brings audiences close to Mr.
Kuti’s fight against the dictatorial Nigerian government of the 1970s and
1980s. With his audacious music and a great deal of courage, Fela Kuti helped
bring a change towards democracy in Nigeria, promoted Pan Africanist politics
to the entire world and became an inspiration in the global fight for the
rights of all oppressed people.
Taking audiences through a multi-threaded journey into the
power of art to affect political and personal change, Finding Fela also reveals
the creative process behind the Broadway musical Fela!, directed and
co-conceived by acclaimed choreographer Bill. T. Jones.
Meanwhile, “Dinosaur 13,” which follows the painful ordeal surrounding famed dinosaur skeleton Sue and her rightful owners (TOH! review here), also hits theaters late this summer: August 15, for NY and LA. Here’s the synopsis:
DINOSAUR 13 features never-before-seen footage culled from
over 300 hours of film that had been locked away since the original trial, as
well as numerous interviews with Peter Larson and his team of paleontologists
that discovered “Sue,” the politicians and members of the military that tried
to remove the dinosaur from their possession, the legal teams that defended
both sides of the ownership debate and participated in the trial as well as
additional notable figures that witnessed the drama.