Janis Joplin Documentary Bought by FilmRise for U.S.

FilmRise has acquired U.S. distribution rights for the Janis Joplin documentary “Janis: Little Girl Blue,” Variety has learned exclusively.

The deal with Content Media was reached a month after the film’s world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. “Janis: Little Girl Blue” is directed and written by Amy Berg (“Deliver Us From Evil”) and produced by Alex Gibney (“Going Clear”), Berg, Jeffrey Jampol and Katherine LeBlond.

FilmRise will release the film in theaters in New York on Nov. 27 and in Los Angeles and additional cities early December with home media and digital to follow. The documentary will have its exclusive U.S. broadcast premiere on the “American Masters” series on PBS in 2016.

The film includes Chan Marshall reading Jolpin’s own letters to her family and lovers. The movie features footage of Joplin performing at Monterey Pop in 1967, Woodstock in 1969 and Festival Express in 1970, as well as witness interviews with her family, friends and rock star contemporaries. Joplin died in 1970 of a drug overdose.

The Joplin Estate is supporting the film and provided access to their vaults for the first time, through which Berg unearthed previously unreleased letters, photos, audio and footage of Joplin.

“Janis: Little Girl Blue” screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Deauville American Film Festival. “Amy Berg brings an intimate voice to her absorbing documentary portrait of late blues-rock goddess Janis Joplin,” Variety’s Guy Lodge wrote in his review.

“Janis Joplin, the artist and the woman, was a major figure in the counterculture movement,” Berg said. “She also played an important role for women as a groundbreaker and the first woman of rock and roll. I am so pleased that FilmRise will be giving this film a platform so that more people can be introduced to this wonderfully talented and complex icon.”

Production companies are Disarming Films, Jigsaw Productions and Thirteen Productions.

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