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Magnolia Acquires Sundance and SXSW Music Doc 'Muscle Shoals'

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by Anne Thompson
March 12, 2013 2:29 PM
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"Muscle Shoals"

Magnolia Pictures likes docs. The indie distributor has acquired US rights to Greg "Freddy" Camalier's Sundance entry "Muscle Shoals," a documentary about the Alabama Muscle Shoals recording studio that spawned some of the greatest records of all time.

Produced by Stephen Badger and Camalier, the film includes interviews with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge, Gregg Allman, Clarence Carter, Alicia Keys, Bono and more. The film is debuting in Austin Tuesday at the Paramount Theater as part of the SXSW Film Festival.

Rick Hall put together a recording studio and house band (the Swampers) in a small Alabama town by the Tennessee River, where he lured the likes of Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, the Staples Singers, the Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Simon and Garfunkle to produce such classic songs as “Mustang Sally,” “I Never Loved a Man,” and “Wild Horses," uniting black and white musicians in the deep south during a volatile time of racial hostility.

“'Muscle Shoals' captures the elusive magic of a truly special place that birthed some of the most exciting music ever made," said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles, who plays drums and lead vocals in several bands in his own right. "Music fans of all ages are going to find this story revelatory.”

Submarine also sold US TV rights to Independent Lens for broadcast on PBS and all Canadian rights to Films We Like. "At its heart, 'Muscle Shoals' is a social issue doc that looks at how music transformed culture," said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens Senior Series Producer.

Recent Magnolia doc releases include Kevin Macdonald’s biopic "Marley," David Gelb’s "Jiro Dreams of Sushi," and Lauren Greenfield’s "The Queen of Versailles." Coming up are docs "No Place on Earth," about holocaust survivors in caves, Seaworld expose "Blackfish," "Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me," and "Évocateur: The Morton Downey Jr. Movie."


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