A&E Network Greenlights Four-Part Documentary Event “James Brown: Say It Loud” (wt) Commemorating the Godfather of Soul
The documentary will premiere on A&E in 2023 timed to what would have been Brown’s 90th birthday.
[via press release from A&E]
A&E NETWORK GREENLIGHTS FOUR-PART DOCUMENTARY EVENT “JAMES BROWN: SAY IT LOUD” (WT) COMMEMORATING THE GODFATHER OF SOUL
EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY MICK JAGGER, QUESTLOVE, PETER AFTERMAN, DAVID BLACKMAN, VICTORIA PEARMAN, BLACK THOUGHT AND DIRECTED BY DEBORAH RILEY DRAPER UNDER PRODUCTION ENTITIES, JAGGED FILMS, TWO ONE FIVE ENTERTAINMENT, INAUDIBLE FILMS AND POLYGRAM ENTERTAINMENT
New York, NY – February 25, 2022 – A&E Network has greenlit four-part documentary event “James Brown: Say It Loud” (working title) exploring the entertainment icon’s legacy as a musical force, cultural catalyst, and dominant Black creative voice. The documentary event delves into Brown’s improbably epic life and sound that was as innovative as it was influential. Exploring his legacy through exclusive interviews with friends, family, collaborators and proteges as well as his beloved music catalog, the documentary also includes never-before-seen archival footage. The documentary will premiere on A&E in 2023 timed to what would have been Brown’s 90th birthday. The series is directed by Deborah Riley Draper and executive produced by Mick Jagger, Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson, Peter Afterman, David Blackman, Victoria Pearman, Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter, Shawn Gee, Zarah Zohlman and Charlie Cohen. Co-Executive Producers for Polygram are Madeline Post and Robert Komadina. Producer for Inaudible Films is Sarah Haber.
“I am thrilled to be producing the four part documentary series with A&E delving into the fascinating life of James Brown,” said executive producer Mick Jagger. “He was a brilliant performer who inspired me from the beginning and was deeply committed to the Civil Rights movement. I have always admired James and learned so much from him. I look forward to bringing the series to life.”
“The life of James Brown is significant not only to understand his immense musical impact, which inspires us and other artists to this day, but also for the deep and lasting impression he has had on American culture,” said executive producers Ahmir ‘Questlove’ Thompson and Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter. “Brown’s life is a crucial and timely story of struggle, redemption, and self-identity and we are honored to have the chance to share it.”
“A&E has a long legacy as a home for bold, insightful, and engaging storytelling that pushes boundaries and bring viewers deeper into the lives and worlds they thought they knew,” said Elaine Frontain Bryant, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming for A&E. “We are honored to partner with executive producers Mick Jagger, Questlove, Black Thought, the teams at Inaudible Films, Jagged Films, Two One Five Entertainment, Polygram Entertainment, and director Deborah Riley Draper to continue this tradition with ‘James Brown: Say It Loud’ to provide audiences with an in-depth look, not only into the extraordinary life of the Godfather of Soul, but also his immeasurable influence as a cultural force in American society.”
Across four hours, “James Brown: Say it Loud” traces the intense highs and lows of James Brown’s life and career from a 7th grade drop-out arrested for armed robbery in the Jim Crow era South to an entertainment legend whose words, songs, style and moves inspired musical revolutions and molded a nation’s view of Black pride and Black masculinity. Consistently facing obstacles and unbelievable odds, the documentary details how Brown persevered through decades of personal demons, racial injustice and career setbacks to find redemption and become one of the most celebrated and influential artists of the 20th century. “James Brown: Say It Loud” is a definitive look at a complicated life and a reflection on the immense impact Brown continues to have as a musical and cultural trailblazer.
“James Brown: Say It Loud” is produced by Inaudible Films in association with Polygram Entertainment for A&E Network. Peter Afterman serves as executive producer for Inaudible Films along with producer Sarah Haber. Executive producers for Jagged Films are Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman. Executive Producers for Two One Five Entertainment are Amhir ‘Questlove’ Thompson, Tariq ‘Black Thought’ Trotter, Shawn Gee, and Zarah Zohlman. David Blackman serves as an executive producer with Madeline Post and Robert Komadina as co-executive producers for Polygram Entertainment. Charlie Cohen also serves as executive producer. Elaine Frontain Bryant and Brad Abramson serve as executive producers for A&E Network.
About A&E Network
A&E leads the cultural conversation through high-quality, original programming that captivates viewers and brings them to the heart of the stories that matter. Through its distinctive brand of award-winning non-fiction and documentary programming, A&E always makes entertainment an art. For more press information and photography, please visit us at press.aenetworks.com. Website: aetv.com | Twitter: @aetv | Facebook: aetv | Instagram: @aetv | TikTok: @aetv
About Jagged Films
Emmy Nominated, Grammy Nominated and Peabody Award Winning Producers, Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman, together formed Jagged Films in 1995. Since its formation, Jagged Films has produced HBO’s Emmy nominated series VINYL (alongside Martin Scorsese), the Peabody Award Winning and Grammy Nominated HBO Documentary entitled MR. DYNAMITE: THE RISE OF JAMES BROWN (by award winning director, Alex Gibney – premiered at Tribeca Film Festival), the Universal Pictures James Brown biopic: GET ON UP (directed by Tate Taylor), HBO’s Emmy nominated documentary, CROSSFIRE HURRICANE (featuring the Rolling Stones and directed by Academy Award winner Brett Morgen), and SHINE A LIGHT, a documentary directed by Martin Scorsese in 2008 which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and was released by 20th Century Fox and Paramount. Jagged Films produced the documentary STONES IN EXILE (directed by Stephen Kijak) about the making of the iconic Rolling Stones album. Produced in partnership with John Battsek, the film was part of Director’s Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival and distributed by Paramount and 20th Century Fox. Additionally, Jagged Films produced THE WOMEN (directed by Diane English, starring Annette Bening, Meg Ryan, Jada Pinkett Smith, Eva Mendes, Bette Midler and Carrie Fisher) and ENIGMA (directed by Michael Apted and written by Academy Award winner Tom Stoppard, starring Kate Winslet). Jagged Films just completed production on TROUBLE IN MIND (directed by Ethan Coen), a documentary about the life of Jerry Lee Lewis with Live Nation. Jagged Films is producing a number of TV and film projects and are currently in various stages of development.
About Two One Five Entertainment
Two One Five Entertainment, founded by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, is a full-service storytelling and content development media company. The foundation of the company is built upon compelling storytelling through the creation of dynamic films, short form and long form digital content, theatrical experiences and documentary styled content. Two One Five has produced content for partners such as AMC, Disney, Amazon, VH1, BET, You Tube and Twitch. In 2022, Two One Five Entertainment is set to executive produce Sam Pollard’s The League, a documentary centered on the tumultuous journey of Negro league baseball and also produce an upcoming documentary on the legendary Sly Stone, as well as various projects with partners such as Disney Jr. This year the company also executive produced Descendant, a feature documentary on the historic discovery of The Clotilda, the last known slave ship to arrive in America illegally transporting enslaved Africans. The documentary, which made its world premiere at Sundance in 2022, was acquired by Netflix. Higher Ground, President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company, will present the film, alongside Netflix. Additionally, Two One Five has a first-look deal with Universal Television to develop scripted and non-scripted programming. In addition to Two One Five’s current slate, Questlove recently made his directorial debut with the acclaimed Academy Award nominated feature documentary Summer of Soul. The film premiered on the opening night of the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, where it was awarded the “Grand Jury Prize” and “Audience Award for Best U.S. Documentary.” The movie broke the record for the highest selling documentary to come out of Sundance when it was acquired by Searchlight/Hulu and it has since gone on to receive an Academy Award and BAFTA nomination for “Best Documentary,” as well as receiving six Critic’s Choice Documentary Awards Questlove additionally garnered a nomination for “Best Director” by the Director’s Guild. The film was also named the “Best Movie of 2021” by The New York Times and was named one of the best of the year by The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, Entertainment Weekly, The Washington Post, TIME Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, Rolling Stone, Forbes, The Guardian, The Wrap and People Magazine. In addition, Barack Obama named Summer of Soul one of his “Favorite Movies of 2021.” Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Tarik Trotter, The Roots and Two One Five are all represented by Shawn Gee of Maverick Management.
About Inaudible Films
Inaudible Productions, founded in 1986 by multiple Grammy Award winning Peter Afterman is a full service music supervision and content production media company. Inaudible Films produced the award winning music documentary IT MIGHT GET LOUD, which featured three generations of guitar players, Jimmy Page, The Edge and Jack White discussing their creative process (directed by Davis Guggenheim). It also produced along with Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman the Peabody Award Winning and Grammy Nominated HBO Documentary entitled MR. DYNAMITE: THE RISE OF JAMES BROWN (directed by Alex Gibney), the Joan Jett documentary BAD REPUTATION which was released by Magnolia Pictures and garnered two Critic’s Choice nominations, and recently the Tom Petty documentary TOM PETTY, SOMEWHERE YOU FEEL FREE that won the Audience Award at SXSW and for which Afterman was nominated for a PGA Award. Afterman was also a producer on the Universal Pictures James Brown biopic GET ON UP, the Greenwich/CNN documentary JIMMY CARTER; ROCK AND ROLL PRESIDENT, a documentary about avant-garde jazz music called FIRE MUSIC, and the Nat Geo/Fox 21 Aretha Franklin scripted series ARETHA: GENIUS starring Emmy Nominated Cynthia Erivo. Inaudible has just completed production on TROUBLE IN MIND (directed by Ethan Coen) a documentary on the life of Jerry Lee Lewis (produced with Mick Jagger, Victoria Pearman, Steve Bing, and T Bone Burnett). Current Inaudible Films include a documentary on the life of Curtis Mayfield, an animated documentary on Thelonious Monk’s song “Round Midnight”which is considered to be the most famous jazz composition in the history of jazz, and a documentary on the life of Stevie Ray Vaughan.
About Polygram Entertainment
Polygram Entertainment creates music-driven projects for film and television that excites, inspires and engages fans of all ages around the world. A partner of Universal Music Group, the world leader in music-based entertainment, Polygram produces content that explores the stories behind the biggest recording artists and music of all time and the cultural and social events their music helped define. Polygram works across all music genres to develop, produce, finance and sell documentary, original scripted and unscripted television and feature films. Recent award-winning projects include Todd Haynes’ The Velvet Underground; Frank Marshall’s The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart; Beastie Boys Story from director Spike Jonze; Alison Ellwood’s The Go-Go’s; and the Emmy-winning series “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.” Upcoming projects include scripted features about KISS and The Osbournes; Donna, a feature documentary about Donna Summer directed by Roger Ross Williams and Brooklyn Sudano, and a new series based on the life of Frank Sinatra.