In today’s film news roundup, documentaries on Sly Stone and a Wisconsin police killing are moving forward and a CEO is named for the AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund.
Network Entertainment and filmmaker Derik Murray have acquired the rights to produce a feature documentary on the life and legacy of musician Sylvester Stewart, better known as Sly Stone.
Production on the film has commenced, with the filming of an exclusive interview with the traditionally reclusive Stone.
“In the annals of pop music, certain artists are more than just innovators and more than just icons. Certain artists are avatars — the manifestation of an idea,” said Murray. “For Sly Stone, that idea was to create a diverse band that embraced a kaleidoscope of musical and cultural styles, that stand unparalleled to this day.”
“Sly Stone” will trace the musician’s journey from child prodigy to stardom to one of music’s most colorful recluses. Stone broke out in 1968 with his group Sly and the Family Stone and the hits “Dance to the Music,” “Everyday People,” and “Hot Fun in the Summertime.”
“This collaboration with legendary artist Sly Stone will deliver an epic and important film in the history of popular music,” said co-executive producer Ron Weisner. “After refusing the spotlight for decades, Sly has finally opened up to share his amazing story on camera about everything: life, love and music.”
Murray’s credits include documentaries on Johnny Cash, Muhammad Ali, Heath Ledger, and Bruce Lee. UTA will sell domestic and international rights to the film. The news was first reported by Billboard.
The Lagralane Group has signed on to executive produce the documentary “The Blood Is at the Doorstep,” which details the aftermath of the 2014 police killing of Dontre Hamilton in Milwaukee, Wis.
Principals Jason Delane Lee, Yvonne Huff Lee, and chief operating officer Matthew Soraci of the Lagralane Group will be acting as executive producers on the documentary with the company receiving an “in association” credit.
The Lagralane Group received co-executive producer credit on “Icarus,” which won the Academy Award for best documentary earlier this this month.
“The Blood Is at the Doorstep” won the audience award at the 2017 Milwaukee Film Festival and the Rob Tibbett Award for Excellence in Filmmaking at the 2017 Indie Memphis Film Festival.
The deal was negotiated by Schuyler Moore from Greenberg Glusker. Gunpowder & Sky is handling sales on behalf of the title.
The AFM & SAG-AFTRA Intellectual Property Rights Distribution Fund, AFM, and SAG-AFTRA have appointed veteran music industry executive Stefanie Taub as chief executive officer of the fund.
Taub served as the head of SAG-AFTRA’s Music Department for more than 20 years, and as a trustee of the fund for the past six years. In her new role, Taub will oversee the collection and distribution of more than $45 million annually in royalties to non-featured musicians and vocalists.
She succeeds Dennis Dreith, who retired in July. Taub’s hiring concludes a nine-month long national search led by the consulting firm Korn Ferry. Taub will assume her new responsibilities on April 15.
“Stefanie’s vision for the future of the fund is inspiring, and she brings the management experience and industry expertise to not only hit the ground running but also to take on the immense challenges brought on by the volatility in the music world,” said Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, co-chair of the board of trustees and chief operating officer and general counsel of SAG-AFTRA.
“We could not hope for a more qualified, excellent CEO than Stefanie Taub,” said Ray Hair, co-chair of the board of trustees and international president of the American Federation of Musicians. “She has the complete confidence and trust of not only the leadership, but also the membership of the AFM. Stefanie is a ‘music person’ with the skill set and dedication to musicians to lead the fund to new heights.”