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Magnolia Acquires Sundance and SXSW Music Doc 'Muscle Shoals'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood March 12, 2013 at 2:29PM

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.
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"Muscle Shoals"
"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."


This article is related to: SXSW, South By Southwest Film Conference and Festival (SXSW), Magnolia Pictures, Musical, Festivals


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.