“Giving Voice” won the Sundance Film Festival favorite award, a plaudit that’s selected by audience votes from the 128 features screened at the 2020 event.
Directed by James D. Stern and Fernando Villena, “Giving Voice” follows the lives of six students as they compete against fellow high schoolers from around the country in the August Wilson Monologue Competition in New York City. It features the original song “Never Break” performed by John Legend.
“This is my fifth project with Netflix and nothing thrills me more than to be able to bring ‘Giving Voice’ to a place that I consider home,” Stern said.
The movie was produced by Endgame Entertainment and Pilgrim Media Group Production, in association with Endeavor Content, Impact Partners, Get Lifted Film Co and JuVee Productions. Stern and Villena also produced the film, along with Karen Bove, Schoen Smith and Craig Piligian. It was financed by Endeavor Content, Pilgrim Media Group and Impact Partners.
Stern’s credits include the documentaries “Every Little Step,” “American Chaos,” “Sport in America,” “The Year of the Yao,” and “Michael Jordan to the Max.” Villena’s previously directed “Any One of Us.”
Executive producers are Viola Davis and Julius Tennon for JuVee Productions; John Legend, Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius for Get Lifted Film Co.; Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin and Geralyn White Dreyfous for Impact Partners; Gretchen Stockdale and Nicholas Caprio for Pilgrim Media Group; and Constanza Romero. Co-executive producers are Jonah McMichael and Jamie Wolf. Endeavor Content sold the movie.