New York, NY – November 30, 2018 – Stanley Nelson’s much anticipated film on the life of jazz trumpeter and composer Miles Davis will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, his company Firelight Films announced today. Produced with Eagle Rock Entertainment and American Masters Pictures, MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOLis a definitive account of the man behind the legend.
In addition, two fellows of Nelson’s Documentary Lab, an incubator that supports and mentors filmmakers of color, will be in competition at Sundance: ALWAYS IN SEASON, directed and produced by Jacqueline Olive, which explores the history and legacy of African American lynchings, and WORDS FROM A BEAR, director and producer Jeffrey Palmer’s examination of the Native American writer N. Scott Momaday.
“MILES DAVIS will be Stanley’s tenth film at Sundance and we are of course thrilled,” said Marcia Smith, president of Firelight Media. “This year though we are equally proud of Jacqueline and Jeffrey and the stories they are sharing. The Firelight Documentary Lab has worked with more than 70 filmmakers since we launched the program in 2008 to help emerging filmmakers of color develop their artistic voices. We strongly believe that filmmakers from diverse backgrounds bring a unique, and much-needed, perspective to the pressing issues of our time. By supporting their voices we ensure the next generation of American documentarians will represent the diversity of the world we live in.”
MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL is expected to have a theatrical release in 2019 and a subsequent exclusive U.S. broadcast premiere on “American Masters” on PBS, thanks to the support of David and Lisa Grain, and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.
With full access to the Miles Davis Estate, the film features never-before-seen footage, including studio outtakes from his recording sessions, rare photos and new interviews. Quincy Jones, Carlos Santana, Clive Davis, Wayne Shorter and Ron Carter are just a few of the luminaries weighing in on Davis’ life and career.
“Miles Davis was the personification of cool,” Stanley Nelson said. “He was an extraordinary artist celebrated for his restless artistic aesthetic and his ceaseless innovation. He changed the course of music five or six times. By unpacking his upbringing, his methodology, his relationships, and his demons, we begin to understand the man who redefined the original American musical genre, jazz, and continues to influence generations of rock, funk, and hip-hop artists.”