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Phase 4 Films Picks Up Ron Howard's Jay-Z Doc 'Made In America' For Summer Theatrical

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by Tambay A. Obenson
November 11, 2013 10:48 AM
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A month after it aired on Showtime, the Jay-Z documentary from the super tag-team (director/producer) Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, has been acquired by Phase 4 Films for a summer 2014 theatrical release.

Making its World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, and titled Made in America, the film was shot, in part, during Jay-Z's "Made In America" music festival in Philadelphia, last September (2012), which included (in the lineup) DrakeSantigoldPearl Jam, Run-DMC, Skrillex, Rick Ross, Miike Snow, Odd FutureJanelle Monáe, and a few others.

Grazer, who produced via his Imagine Entertainment (along with Participant Media and Radical Media) previously shared that the film is told through Jay-Z’s perspective - as in, how he put the "Made In America" event together, and more.

How much more? Here's TIFF's breakdown:

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ron Howard joins us onstage for a live conversation, preceded by the world premiere of his star-studded concert documentary (screening at the Festival alongside Howard’s Rush), which recounts Jay Z’s rise to rap supremacy, as well as his preparations for the titular music festival he both curated and headlined [...] Drawn from an enormous trove of performance footage and backstage interviews, Made in America captures the inaugural edition of an exciting new festival created by rapper and impresario Jay Z, which rocked Philadelphia over Labour Day weekend last year. In keeping with his excellent and eclectic taste, Jay Z's extraordinary hand-picked lineup speaks to his broad and inclusive view of American culture [...] As seen through Howard's affectionate gaze, Made in America is a love letter not only to Jay Z and his unique project, but also to the city of Philadelphia. Fascinating interludes include one-on-ones with audience members about what the show means to the Philly community — the responses are both positive and negative. Howard explores the birthplace of American Independence and how it relates to this unprecedented event. He even takes some time to follow a local hip-hop group through its attempt to get added to the prestigious bill.

Last year, Grazer added, "Jay stayed the king for a very long time... I can’t even begin to explain how he is capable of remaining relevant. He is a phenom, like a musical Michael Jordan."

The film has been picked up by SHOWTIME, where it made its world broadcast debut on Friday, October 11th at 9pm ET/PT

"As soon as we saw this film we knew it was a perfect fit for SHOWTIME," said David Nevins, President of Entertainment, SHOWTIME Networks Inc. "Ron Howard and JAY Z have crafted an inspirational portrayal of American resilience, drive and creativity, interwoven with an incredible showcase of musical talent. We are proud to bring MADE IN AMERICA to SHOWTIME where it joins our impressive roster of provocative and compelling documentaries helmed by award-winning filmmakers."

No exact theatrical release date from Phase 4 Films just yet. Look for it next summer.

Here's a trailer:


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1 Comment

  • Burp | November 11, 2013 6:45 PMReply

    Some please explain to me the reason for a release pattern where a project comes out on cable TV..showtime then later gets a theatrical release. I am not hating just want to know the dynamics behind it.

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