Fresh off the Sundance opening night premiere that saw its subject feted by Robert Redford followed by a standing ovation for the film itself, Music Box Films has picked up theatrical rights to the documentary Norman Lear: Just Another Version Of You. The PBS & new imprint American Masters Pictures film will be released in theaters in June, followed in Fall, 2016 by broadcast on PBS. PBS retains DVD and digital distribution rights, with exclusive streaming rights going to Netflix.
The film examines the long and legendary career of television pioneer Norman Lear, the producer and activist behind a long run of hugely influential shows during the 1970s and 80s, among them All in the Family, Sanford and Son, The Jeffersons, Good Times, and Maude, Lear also founded Act III Communications, which produced several notable films including Stand By Me, The Princess Bride, and Fried Green Tomatoes. Directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, Featuring appearances and interviews with Lear, George Clooney, Bill Moyers, John Amos, Alan Horn, Russell Simmons, Amy Poehler, Jon Stewart, and others, the film is notable for striking visuals, mingling Lear’s past and present and breaking the fourth wall.
Directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady, it was produced by Suzanne Hillinger and Brent Miller, and executive produced by Michael Kantor. Alex Takats and Cara Mones served as associate producers. The deal was negotiated by David Koh, Josh Braun, Dan Braun & Ben Braun on behalf of Michael Kantor, WNET VP Stephen Segaller, and PBS Distribution head Andrea Downing. Ed Arentz, Managing Director and William Schopf, President, Music Box Films, also negotiated.