Oscar nominated director Lee Daniels is set to direct THE APOLLO THEATER FILM PROJECT, an authorized history of New York’s famed Apollo Theater, according to an announcement released today. The project is being produced by White Horse Pictures.
The film will tell the story of the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York, one of the most famous theaters in the world and a driving force in shaping America’s music and cultural landscape. The film will spotlight the Apollo’s impact on the local Harlem community and the legendary musicians who performed at the historic venue.
Today, the Apollo hosts more than 100 performances on its stages annually, including artistic offerings from around the globe, robust education and community programs, and shows by some of the most celebrated contemporary artists in the world, such as Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Smokey Robinson, Metallica and Sam Smith.
In addition to the project announcement, Daniels and Apollo Theater President and CEO Jonelle Procope are requesting that former audience members submit their own film footage, photographs or memorabilia related to the theater: “We are asking members of the community who have been to the Apollo, who may have parents or grandparents or other family members or friends who have done so, to help us find any material – audience footage, photographs, or other memories that we can use in our documentary film.”
The documentary is being produced by Nigel Sinclair and Jeanne Elfant Festa under Festa’s Piper Cub Productions banner. Impact Partners, StudioCanal and Universal Music Group will finance alongside The Chicago Media Project. The film will be presented by the Apollo Theater and Bert Marcus Productions. Nicholas Ferrall, Matt Jackson, Steven Cohen, Paula Proehle, Ken Pelletier, Dave Knott and Procope will all executive produce.
Daniels is best known for his Oscar nominated Lee Daniels’ The Butler, as well as co-creating and executive producing the hit Fox series Empire. In November, The Tracking Board exclusively reported that Daniels is attached to direct The Queen, based on Josh Levin’s Slate magazine article.
Daniels is repped by CAA.
Josh Lyons | Managing Editor