“Little Richard: I Am Everything” first screened at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. The film will be available for streaming on April 21, but for one night only — April 11 — it will screen in theaters.
Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning film producer Lisa Cortés is the director of the documentary, and considers the performer to be the true king of rock ‘n’ roll.
“What our film shows, though, is that Richard oftentimes had to proclaim that in what he felt was a void that didn’t recognize his contributions,” Cortés told Deadline.
The film will feature interviews with family members, musicians, and Black and queer scholars, and shows how Richard continually pushed the envelope to make space for himself and others during a time he wasn’t championed.
“What I love is that in the mid-1950s he was saying he was a king. He was claiming a space for him that was denied for most Black people. It’s a time of Emmett Till’s murder. And Little Richard shows up at the same time declaring himself in a world that can be oftentimes dangerous for non-normative people,” said Cortés.
Little Richard, born Richard Wane Penniman in Macon, Georgia, started his career traveling across Georgia with vaudeville and minstrel shows. While he was a musical trailblazer, his songs gained more recognition and appreciation by the masses after they were covered by Pat Boone, the Beatles and Elvis Presley.
Richard released rock ‘n’ roll music for decades, but he also ventured into Gospel and even recorded a children’s album, “Shake it All About.” In 1986 he was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. In 1990 he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in 2003 he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
“Little Richard: I Am Everything” will screen for one night only in select theaters on April 11. The Atlanta cinemas include:
- Regal Atlantic Station
- Movie Tavern Tucker
- Regal Arbor Place
- Movie Tavern Roswell
- Regal McDonough
- Regal Avalon
The documentary will be available digitally starting April 21, thought the platforms have not yet been revealed.
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