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TIFF Buy: Open Road Acquires John Ridley's Must-See Hendrix Biopic 'All Is By My Side' (TIFF VIDEO)

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 12, 2013 at 10:23PM

John Ridley is having a good Toronto. Not only did "12 Years a Slave" leap to the top of the Oscar pack, for which he could well earn an adapted screenplay nomination, but his directorial feature film debut "All Is By My Side," a smart slice-of-life from the London launch of Jimi Hendrix's career, has been acquired by Open Road. Ridley has succeeded where many have failed over the years, to make a Hendrix biopic by steering clear from the shoals of cooperating with the Hendrix estate. He skips his most famous music and relies on early covers like "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
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Andre Benjamin as Jimi Hendrix in 'All is By My Side'
Andre Benjamin as Jimi Hendrix in 'All is By My Side'

John Ridley is having a good Toronto. Not only did "12 Years a Slave" leap to the top of the Oscar pack, for which he could well earn an adapted screenplay nomination, but his sophomore feature film "All Is By My Side," a smart slice-of-life from the London launch of Jimi Hendrix's career, has been acquired by Open Road. Ridley has succeeded where many have failed over the years, by making a Hendrix biopic that steers clear of cooperating with the Jimi Hendrix estate. Ridley skips Hendrix's most famous music and relies instead on early covers such as "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

The movie stars musician Andre Benjamin as an utterly convincing Hendrix at the start of his guitar-riffing career, when Keith Richard's girlfriend Linda Keith took him under her wing. Ridley makes a strong writer-director, grabbing strong performances from neophyte Benjamin and Brit actress Imogen Poots, and deploying a jump-cut editing style.

Open Road Films and XLrator Media secured North American theatrical distribution rights for “All Is By My Side,” which is produced by Darko Entertainment's Sean McKittrick (“Bad Words”), Jeff Culotta and Danny Bramson, Freeman Films’ Brandon Freeman and Anthony Burns, Subotica’s Tristen Orpen Lynch, and Nigel Thomas of Matador Pictures, with Darko’s Edward H. Hamm, Jr., and John Ridley as executive producers

Here's the THR review.

This article is related to: Toronto, Festivals, All Is By My Side, Musical, Imogen Poots, Open Road Films


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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.