With the 2015 Sundance Film Festival right around the corner (January 22 to February 1), it was announced that the opening night film will be What Happened, Miss Simone?, a documentary that was produced by Netflix. Created and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Liz Garbus (Love, Marilyn), the documentary follows the life of acclaimed pianist, musician, and activist Nina Simone, told largely in her own words.
The film will chronicle Simone’s rise from child prodigy through her difficult years as a genius but melancholy musician, right through her becoming a black power icon and activist. The documentary is comprised of rarely seen footage and archival video and will be told largely by Simone herself. The footage also comprises interviews Simone did that tell her life story, the film culled from over 100 hours of never-before-seen recordings.
Oscar-nominated director Liz Garbus has a long history of filmmaking, is the co-founder of Moxie Firecracker Films, and has won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize and two Primetime Emmys. Garbus took footage that was recently unearthed to create her film, including interviews with Simone’s daughter, Lisa Simone Kelly, as well as personal diaries and letters to create the intimate tone of the movie. The film was co-produced by Netflix and RadicalMedia as well as Garbus’ company Moxie Firecracker Films. Following the Sundance premiere on January 22, the documentary will be available for viewing on Netflix in 2015.