Shout! Studios Acquires U.S. Rights To ‘Revival69’ Documentary About Historic Music Event Where John Lennon “Shed The Mantle Of The Beatles”

John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 'Revival69'
John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 'Revival69' Myriad Pictures

EXCLUSIVE: Shout! Studios has acquired U.S. rights to the music documentary Revival69: The Concert That Rocked the World, about a historic happening that’s been called “the second most important event in rock & roll history.”

Ron Chapman directed the film, which held its U.S. premiere this week at SXSW in Austin, Texas, playing in the festival’s 24 Beats Per Second section. The documentary tells “the remarkable, behind-the-scenes story of how a little known, but life-altering music festival came together — against all odds,” according to a description of the film. “Young, scrappy concert promoter John Brower puts his life on the line (literally) to turn his failing Toronto Rock n Roll Revival into a one-day event… The festival united rock legends like Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley, and Gene Vincent, with The Doors, who were the biggest band in the world. But it was the 11th hour arrival of John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Band that ignited a truly seminal moment for the 20,000 fans at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium.”

'Revival69' poster
Myriad Pictures/Shout! Studios

The film draws on rare behind-the-scenes material, as well as unreleased concert footage shot by D.A. Pennebaker, the vérité/direct cinema legend who directed the landmark Monterey Pop documentary.

The Revival69 acquisition announcement was made by Jordan Fields, SVP of acquisitions and originals, who negotiated the deal for Shout! Studios in advance of SXSW. Myriad has been handling worldwide sales; Kirk D’Amico, president of Myriad Pictures, is an executive producer on the film.

“With its improbable backstory, incredible line-up and indelible D.A. Pennebaker footage, Ron’s wonderful film joins an elite group of unforgettable music documentaries that tell a great story while preserving a seminal moment in pop culture history,” Fields said in a statement. “Shout has deep roots in the music business, so this was a very happy deal to do.”

D’Amico said, “We are delighted to be working with Shout! Factory to show U.S. audiences this fascinating and little-known story of an amazing concert which took place in 1969 that featured both legends of rock ‘n roll with the biggest talents of the day. Ron Chapman and the producers have assembled extraordinary footage and gotten great interviews to tell the tale of this historic concert.”

John Lennon in 'Revival69'
John Lennon in ‘Revival69’ Myriad Pictures

Among those interviews are fresh conversations with Alice Cooper, Robbie Kreiger (The Doors), Alan White (Yes), Geddy Lee (Rush), Danny Seraphine (Chicago) and Klaus Voorman (Manfred Mann, The Beatles). “The documentary immerses us in the whirlwind chaos leading up to the festival – the biker gang, threat of cancellation, a mid-flight band rehearsal, and inexplicable luck that culminated in Lennon shedding the mantle of the Beatles and nervously taking the stage with Yoko Ono, Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman, and Alan White – an unforgettable happening that triggered Lennon’s decision to leave the Beatles forever.”

Chapman’s previous credits include Who The F**K Is Arthur Fogel, and The Poet of Havana, about Cuban musician Carlos Varela.

Revival69: The Concert That Rocked the World is a Crave documentary, in association with Myriad Pictures, Photon Films, Screen Siren Pictures, Chapman Productions, and Capa Presse/Les Film A Cinq; along with the participation of Telefilm, Arte, Rogers Cable Network Fund, Rogers Telefund, Rogers Documentary Fund and with the assistance of Hot Docs-Slaight Family Fund, Hot Docs, and Ted Rogers Fund.

Shout! Studios is the filmed entertainment production and distribution arm of Shout! Factory, specializing in all aspects of distribution, including theatrical, VOD, digital, DVD/Blu-ray, and broadcast. “Shout! Studios works with creators at the forefront of pop culture, driving creative expression and diversity in independent storytelling,” the company notes. “Shout! Studios finances, produces, acquires, and distributes an eclectic slate of movies, award-winning animated features, specialty films and series from rising and established talent, filmmakers, and producers.”

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