The Wagner/Cuban Company's Magnolia Pictures announced today that they've acquired US rights to Muscle Shoals, a documentary about the legendary Muscle Shoals recording studio in Alabama that spawned some of the greatest records of all time. Directed by Greg 'Freddy' Camalier, and produced by Stephen Badger and Camalier, the film features interviews with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge, Gregg Allman, Clarence Carter, Alicia Keys, Bono and many others.
The film premiered at Sundance, and is debuting in Austin today at the Paramount Theater in the SXSW Film Festival.
Muscle Shoals tells the incredible and unlikely story of a small Alabama town by the Tennessee River, where a man named Rick Hall overcame crushing personal hardship to put together a recording studio and house band (The Swampers) that became legendary for its electrifying musical chemistry. Luring some of the biggest figures in 20th century pop music, like Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Staples Singers, The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Simon and Garfunkle, the studio produced all time classic songs like "Mustang Sally," "I Never Loved a Man," "Wild Horses" and many more, uniting black and white musicians in the deep south during an incendiary period of racial hostility.
Here's what Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles had to say in a statement.
"Muscle Shoals is a great accomplishment. It captures the elusive magic of a truly special place that birthed some of the most exciting music ever made. Music fans of all ages are going to find this story revelatory."
Director Greg 'Freddy' Camalier also released a statement about the acquisition.
"Stephen and I are thrilled for Muscle Shoals to find such a wonderful partner in Magnolia Pictures who will help bring this amazing heretofore unknown tale to the world."
The theatrical deal was negotiated by Magnolia's SVP of Acquisitions Dori Begley with Josh Braun, Dan Braun & David Koh of Submarine.
Submarine also announced it has sold US TV rights to Independent Lens for broadcast on PBS and all Canadian rights to Films We Like. Lois Vossen, Independent Lens Senior Series Producer, also released a statement.
"At its heart, Muscle Shoals is a social issue doc that looks at how music transformed culture."
Those deals were negotiated by Koh, Josh & Dan Braun along with Lois Vossen, Independent Lens Senior Series Producer, and Ron Mann, President of Films We Like.