Storyvault Films, Tempo Productions and Wasted Talent are on board to produce Pendergrass, a feature length documentary about legendary R&B artist Teddy Pendergrass.
Olivia Lichtenstein (The Silent Twin: Without My Shadow) is set to direct while Content Media is handling international sales and selling the doc to buyers at the European Film Market in Berlin.
Lichtenstein produces via her television banner Storyvault Films in association with Tempo Productions’ Piers Tempest and Wasted Talent’s Ian Flooks.
BBC Films is co-financing with acting head Joe Oppenheimer serving as exec producer alongside Pendergrass’ former manager Shep Gordon, Daniel Markus and Allan Strahl.
Iconic singer Black Elvis was raised in poverty in Philadelphia and rose to fame in the early 70s as the lead singer of the band Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. After achieving global success with hits such as “Don’t Leave Me This Way” and “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” Pendergrass launched his solo career and recorded classic songs including “Love T.K.O” and “Turn Off the Lights.” He became the first black male singer to record five consecutive multi-platnum albums in the U.S.
In 1982, at the age of 31, the singer was left paralysed following a car accident and retired from the public eye for three years. He eventually returned to the stage and recorded R&B hits and gold albums into the ‘90s including “Love Language,” which included hit single “Hold Me” featuring Whitney Houston. Pendergrass died in 2010.
Filmmakers will interview his family and friends as well as Blue Notes’ Lloyd Parks, Stevie Wonder, Patti LaBelle and LaToya Jackson.