Netflix and Music Box Films have teamed up to acquire Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You,” the well-reviewed documentary about the legendary television producer. The film world premiered on opening night of the Sundance Film Festival just over a week ago. PBS & American Masters Pictures sold theatrical rights to the film to Music Box, while Netflix will handle the streaming release.
The official synopsis reads: “‘Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You’ is chronicles Mr. Lear’s life, work, and achievements; at 93, Mr. Lear is as vital and engaged as he ever was. Cinéma vérité documentarians Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing seize the opportunity to fashion a dynamic portrait that matches the spirit of their subject. Breaking down the fourth wall to create an evocative collage where past and present intermingle, they reveal a psychologically rich man whose extraordinary contributions emerge from both his personal story and a dialogue with the world.”
The project is the latest from the filmmakers of “Jesus Camp.” They’ve assembled a star-studded roster of interviewees who all reflect on Lear’s storied career. Featured appearances include Lear, George Clooney, Bill Moyers, John Amos, Alan Horn, Russell Simmons, Amy Poehler, Jon Stewart and many others.
“We love bringing our work to the big screen and cannot wait to share Norman’s cinematic journey with theatrical audiences,” the filmmaking duo said in an official statement. “Music Box’s expertise with very special titles like this one will certainly go a long way in reaching both Lear fans and those new to his work.”
Added Lear, “At 93, I waited half my life to see myself in the cinema. And the smartest decision I ever made was to put my trust in directors, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady.”
Music Box Films, along with PBS and American Masters Pictures, will release the film theatrically this June. The film will then premiere on PBC in fall 2016, followed shortly after by the SVOD premiere on Netflix.