Directed by Jessica Edwards, the Film First documentary “Mavis!” (on the life of Mavis Staples of the Staple Singers), was picked up by HBO (U.S. television rights) last year, after its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival.
The network has set a Monday, February 29 at 9pm HBO premiere for the film, and has released a first trailer for it, which is embedded below.
“We are beyond thrilled to have HBO as our broadcast partner,” Film First said in a previous press statement. “They’ve always been such a huge supporter of documentary films. We can’t wait to share the inspiration and joy of Mavis’s music and story with HBO viewers, and with audiences across Canada through Films We Like.”
Mavis Staples herself added: “I’ve been touring since 1954, and I’ve been to all kinds of festivals, but I don’t think I was at a film festival until my movie screened in Austin. That was something else – to sit in the audience and see on that big screen the results of me and Jessica talking, all the old pictures and family performances, to hear these music giants say such nice things about me. I cried all my mascara off. To think that this story about my family and our music will be in theaters and on TV after all this time is just awesome. And being on HBO – that is a thrill. I’m catching up to my guy John Oliver! I am so grateful, knowing all these young people – whole new generations – they want to hear my songs and my family’s story and what I have to say… I’m really blessed.”
The film is the first documentary on the gospel and soul music legend, as well as civil rights activist, and her musical family, featuring live performances, rarely-seen archival footage and conversations with musical legends Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm, Chuck D and more, collectively revealing the trials and triumphs of Staples’ 75-year-old journey.