This year’s Best Documentary Oscar race, which has seemed unusually open until now, now has its first.
American SymphonyOscar nominee Matthew Heinemana touching portrait of a musician Jon Batiste as he experiences his greatest professional success (he won the 2022 Grammys), at the same time his wife faces her greatest personal challenge (Suleika Jaouad is battling leukemia), was acquired by Netflix after a long bidding war, The Hollywood Reporter he learned Cinetic Media negotiated the deal on behalf of the filmmakers.
The film will be released this year and will be promoted with a major Oscar campaign in the works. In addition, Barack Obama and Michelle ObamaProduction company Higher Ground, which has a first-look deal with Netflix, is involved in the project, as it was with two other recent Netflix films: 2019. American factorywhich won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature and for 2020 Crip Campwho was nominated for it.
Barack Obama and Michelle Obama said in a statement: “The themes of resilience and love in the heart American Symphony resonates deeply with us—and we’re excited to bring the film to the Higher Ground family. Jon and Suleika’s journey of grace and strength mirrors the experiences of many families who are forced to navigate the complications that surface when dreams meet adversity. For many years, Jon’s music has helped provide the soundtrack to our lives, and we are grateful for the partnership he and Suleika have offered on issues such as voting rights and the fight against cancer. We couldn’t be more proud to join in telling their story and elevate the work of a talented filmmaker like Matt Heineman. Matt weaves an impressive tapestry of courage, love and music, and we are honored that Higher Ground is helping to share it with the world.”
At just 39 years old, Heineman is one of the most respected documentarians in the business. His daring previous documentaries include the depiction of life inside the vigilante groups fighting the fight against Mexican drug cartels (2015 Cartel countrywhich was nominated for an Academy Award and won two Emmy Awards), ISIS in Syria (2017). City of Ghosts), emergency room in New York during the first days of COVID (2021). The first wave) and Afghanistan during the withdrawal of the US military from the country (2022). Retrograde).
American Symphony is Heineman’s most commercial film to date. And it seems Batiste is very happy with the finished product and supportive, as he accompanied Heineman to the Telluride Film Festival earlier this month for its world premiere — it was popular with many festival goersand received a rave review from THR — and performed there in support of him.
Netflix, which has received multiple Best Documentary Feature Oscar nominations in three of the past eight seasons, has too Laura McGann‘with Deepest breath and Roger Ross Williams‘ Stamped from scratch in a run this season.