Lisa Cortés’ “Little Richard: I Am Everything” Acquired by Magnolia Pictures Out of Sundance

You may not have been able to catch the world premiere of “Little Richard: I Am Everything” at Sundance last week, but it looks like we won’t have to wait too long to watch Lisa Cortés’ latest doc. Deadline reports that Magnolia Pictures snagged worldwide rights to the portrait of the “Tutti-Fruitti” singer with plans to release the film in April. HBO Max holds domestic and international SVOD streaming rights.

Exec produced by “Mudbound” writer-director Dee Rees, “Little Richard: I Am Everything” “tells the story of the Black queer origins of rock ‘n’ roll, exploding the whitewashed canon of American pop music to reveal the innovator – the originator – Richard Penniman,” the source teases. “The docu through archive and performance materials follows Little Richard’s switchbacks and contradictions. In interviews with family, musicians, and cutting-edge Black and queer scholars, the film reveals how Richard created an art form for ultimate self-expression, yet what he gave to the world he was never able to give to himself. Throughout his life, Richard careened like a shiny cracked pinball between God, sex, and rock ‘n’ roll.”

“Little Richard is the true king of rock ‘n’ roll, the alpha and omega of wild, rhythm-based music,” said Magnolia Pictures President Eamonn Bowles. “Lisa Cortés does the legend proud, getting the true story that celebrates this icon who shook the culture in so many ways.”

Cortés added, “Rock ‘n’ roll, race, and queerness are core to our culture — and our culture wars. Little Richard changed America’s notions of all three. I’m thrilled that Magnolia Pictures is bringing this raucous, revolutionary icon to the world at this moment, when his journey could not be more relevant.”

Along with Liz Garbus (“What Happened, Miss Simone?”) Cortés directed the 2020 voting rights doc “All In: The Fight for Democracy.” She has a documentary about Ebony magazine in the works. 

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