Academy Award®-Winning Director Kevin Macdonald’s Revealing and Definitive Look at the Life and Career of the Legendary Superstar Gets National Summer Theatrical Release
Roadside Attractions and Miramax will release Whitney, Academy Award®-winning director Kevin Macdonald’s highly anticipated documentary about the life and career of legendary superstar Whitney Houston this summer in the United States on July 6th, it was announced today by Roadside Attractions presidents and co-founders Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff, along with Miramax’s CEO Bill Block.
Executive producers Altitude Film Entertainment are handling international sales and their award-winning distribution arm will release the film, produced by Lightbox and Lisa Erspamer Entertainment, in the UK and Ireland also on July 6th.
Whitney is the intimate, definitive account of the superstar’s life and career, authored by renowned Oscar®-winning filmmaker Kevin Macdonald. The only film officially supported by the late singer’s estate, it includes previously unreleased recordings, rare never-before-seen footage and live performances recorded by Houston at various stages her life, as well as original studio recordings and acapellas of some of the late singer’s greatest hits. Because the filmmakers had access to vast archives of the Houston estate, the film also contains personal home movie footage that has never been seen publicly before, offering a rare glimpse of Whitney’s life behind-the-scenes as known only to her closest relatives, friends and collaborators.
Director Macdonald says, “”I approached Whitney’s life like a mystery story; why did someone with so much raw talent and beauty self-destruct so publicly and painfully? I was lucky enough to have the support of Pat Houston and the Whitney Houston estate in this quest. They entrusted me with the ‘keys to the vault’ while giving me complete freedom to follow the story wherever it went. At heart, Whitney is an intimate family story that reveals a new side to a woman that even her most die-hard fans never knew.”
“To tell Whitney’s story, you have to know her story,” says Patricia Houston, the late singer’s manager, sister-in-law and the executor of Houston’s estate. “We could not be more excited that Whitney’s fans will have this authoritative and definitive documentary chronicling the full arc or her career and the scope of Whitney’s entire life. This is an amazing retrospective that celebrates Whitney with never-before-seen footage and Kevin approaches her life with no blinders on. He captures all of Whitney’s magic, and he does not ignore the hard times. This is a film that will truly thrill all who knew and loved her as a musician, actress, model and so much more.”
Academy Award®-winner Kevin Macdonald (Marley, Touching The Void, One Day in September, The Last King of Scotland), Academy Award®-winning producer Simon Chinn (Man on Wire, Searching For Sugarman), and his Lightbox co-founder Emmy® Award-winning producer Jonathan Chinn (LA 92, Fantastic Lies) and multi-Emmy® Award nominated and Happy Street Entertainment co-founder Lisa Erspamer (“Running From Crazy”) tell the unvarnished and authentic story of the late icon’s life in a film that examines both the meteoric highs and devastating lows of her remarkable and unforgettable career. Patricia Houston, Nicole David, Zanne Devine, Rosanne Korenberg, Joe Patrick, and Altitude Film Entertainment’s Will Clarke, Andy Mayson, and Mike Runagall executive produced.
Often referred to simply as ‘The Voice’, Whitney Houston was a singular talent, blessed with an extraordinary vocal range and incredible technical skill. As one of music’s biggest selling artists ever, she broke more records than any other female singer in the history of pop music. With over 200 million album sales worldwide, and remaining the only artist to chart seven consecutive US No. 1’s, Whitney Houston became the voice of a generation and is the most awarded female singer in history. Coming from an esteemed lineage of singers, Whitney was destined to be plucked from her gospel-singing roots to rule the world stage. She inspired a generation of singers from Mariah Carey and Lady Gaga to Beyoncé and her unforgettable performance of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ moved the nation.
But all these achievements became overshadowed by a story of deep internal turmoil, addiction and self-destruction. With unprecedented access to friends, family and collaborators – some of whom have never told their story before, Kevin Macdonald offers the first comprehensive look at Whitney Houston’s life, work and creative process. The film reveals a woman who was both blessed and cursed with perhaps the greatest natural ability of any pop star in history.
Whitney is the third collaboration between Roadside Attractions and Miramax. The two companies have previously partnered on 2015’s Mr. Holmes and Southside With You. Along with the U.S., Miramax has also acquired rights for more than a dozen territories for Whitney, including Canada, Latin America, China, CIS, and Benelux.
ABOUT ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS
Since its founding in 2003, ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS films have grossed over $300M and garnered nineteen Academy Award® nominations. Roadside has released such critical and commercial hits as Manchester by the Sea, Beatriz at Dinner, Stronger, Love & Friendship, Hello My Name is Doris, Mr. Holmes, Love & Mercy, A Most Wanted Man, Dear White People, The Skeleton Twins, All Is Lost, Mud, Winter’s Bone, The Cove, Arbitrage, Margin Call and Super-Size Me. Its upcoming slate includes Jon and Andrew Erwin’s I Can Only Imagine, starring Dennis Quaid, Cloris Leachman, Trace Adkins, Priscilla Shirer, and Broadway’s J. Michael Finley; Sally Potter’s The Party starring Cillian Murphy, Patricia Clarkson, Kristin Scott Thomas and Timothy Spall; Richard Loncraine’s Finding Your Feet, starring Imelda Staunton, Timothy Spall, Celia Imrie, David Hayman, John Sessions and Joanna Lumley; Michael Pearce’s Beast, starring Jessie Buckley, Johnny Flynn and Geraldine James; and Lizzie, starring Chloë Sevigny and Kristen Stewart.
Acquired by beIN Media Group (beinmediagroup.com) in March 2016, MIRAMAX® is a global film and television studio best known for its award-winning and original content. Nasser Al-Khelaifi serves as Chairman of MIRAMAX® and beIN Media Group.
Headquartered in London and Los Angeles, Lightbox is a multi-platform media company creating high quality non-fiction content for an array of distribution platforms. It was founded by two-time Academy Award-winning producer Simon Chinn (Man on Wire, Searching for Sugar Man) and Emmy-winning producer Jonathan Chinn (Fantastic Lies, American High). Lightbox is currently in production on content including a landmark feature documentary on the Weinstein scandal for BBC2, Food Exposed with Nelufar Hedayat for FUSION, as well as multiple series for platforms and broadcasters including Netflix and National Geographic. Lightbox has previously produced documentary series including Captive, a major 8-part series for Netflix about international hostage crises; LA92, an Emmy-winning feature documentary on the 1992 LA riots for National Geographic Channels; War Child – an acclaimed feature documentary on the refugee crisis for Channel 4; Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue for BBC Two and The Traffickers for Fusion, as well as content for Xbox Entertainment Studios, NBC Universal’s Esquire Network and ESPN’s prestigious 30 for 30 strand. www.lightboxent.com
ABOUT LISA ERSPAMER ENTERTAINMENT
Lisa Erspamer Entertainment is a Los Angeles based multi-media production and consulting company focused on scripted and non-scripted content. The company has brought its unique media and storytelling expertise to clients including Starbucks, Sony Television, People Magazine, Pinterest, Apple and more. Erspamer is a three-time Emmy-nominated producer for her work on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and her documentary film “Running From Crazy” about the Hemingway family. She’s also a New York Times best-selling author and former chief creative officer and executive vice president of programming and development for OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. Most recently, Lisa co-founded Happy Street Entertainment, a television, film, digital production and entertainment consulting company. In addition to the current Whitney documentary, Lisa has several other projects in production under the moniker Happy Street Entertainment, such as the nationally syndicated talk show “Pickler & Ben,” which just got a second season renewal and a documentary on legendary songwriter Diane Warren with two-time Oscar winner Barbara Koppel.
ABOUT ALTITUDE FILM ENT
The Altitude Film Entertainment group comprises Altitude Film Production led by Will Clarke chairman and joint-CEO with Andy Mayson; Altitude Film Sales with Managing Director Mike Runagall; and Altitude Film Distribution with Head of Distribution Hamish Moseley.
The Altitude Film Sales slate includes Black 47, directed by Lance Daly and starring Hugo Weaving, Jim Broadbent, James Frecheville, Stephen Rea, Freddie Fox, Barry Keoghan, Moe Dunford and Sarah Greene which screened in Official Selection (Out of Competition) at the Berlin International Film Festival 2018; Beats directed by Brian Welsh and executive produced by Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh; Sophie Brooks’ Tribeca Film Festival hit The Boy Downstairs starring Zosia Mamet and Matthew Shear; My Friend Dahmer directed by Marc Meyers starring Ross Lynch, Anne Heche and Alex Wolff; Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars directed by Academy Award winner Lili Fini Zanuck, BAFTA Award nominated producer John Battsek and BAFTA Award nominated editor Chris King; Mary and the Witch’s Flower from director Hiromasa Yonebayashi and producer Yoshiaki Nishimura, the filmmaking team behind the 2015 Oscar-nominated When Marnie Was There; writer/director/producer/actor Noel Clarke’s 10X10 starring Luke Evans and Kelly Reilly; Dead in a Week (Or Your Money Back) directed by Tom Edmunds and starring Tom Wilkinson and Aneurin Barnard; Whitney from Academy Award-winning director Kevin Macdonald and Academy Award-winning producer Simon Chinn; Maradona from the Academy Award-winning team behind Amy and Senna; Ghost Stories, directed by Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman based on their international smash hit play and 47 Meters Down directed by Johannes Roberts, starring Claire Holt, Mandy Moore and Matthew Modine.
Recognised as Screen’s Distributor of the Year, Altitude Film Distribution are one of the most exciting independent distributors in the UK and Ireland and have released Academy Award and BAFTA winners Moonlight, 20 Feet From Stardom, I Am Not Your Negro and Amy (also the highest grossing British documentary feature film on record) and BAFTA nominees Lady Macbeth by William Oldroyd, The Florida Project from Sean Baker and Hugh Welchman and Dorota Kobiela’s Loving Vincent and Andrey Zvyagintsev’s award-winning Loveless. Upcoming releases include Mary and The Witch’s Flower, Maradona, Whitney, Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire’s A Prayer Before Dawn, My Friend Dahmer, Sophie Brooks’ Tribeca Film Festival hit The Boy Downstairs starring Zosia Mamet, Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazz Sicilian Ghost Story, Chloé Zhao’s The Rider, James Erskine’s Billie Holiday documentary Billie, Michael Pearce’s thriller Beast and Beats.