NEON made its second Sundance Film Festival acquisition with Jamila Wignot Ailey, about dance legend Alvin Ailey.
The film debuted at the festival yesterday in the US Documentary Competition section. The documentary explores Ailey’s life and her connection to the current dance company that bears her name with never-before-seen audio interviews recorded during the last year of her life and rare dance performances by the Ailey Company. Ailey found salvation through dance and he pioneered choreography centered around African American experiences. He has endured racism and homophobia; addiction and mental illness.
Darcy Heusel, Head of Impact and Audience Engagement at NEON, said: “Ailey is a searing and inspiring tale of a visionary artistic genius who used his gift of dance and movement to express the experience. black Americans. Jamila Wignot has created an indelible portrait of the artist and her work and NEON is delighted to be part of continuing her legacy by bringing this remarkable film to theaters across the country.
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“On behalf of Insignia Films and the entire creative team behind AILEY, we couldn’t be happier to partner with NEON,” said Insignia Films producer Lauren DeFilippo. “NEON has an incredible list of films that we are proud to be a part of, and we look forward to working with them to bring Jamila Wignot’s magnificent rendering of Alvin Ailey’s inspirational and necessary story to audiences across the country.”
Ailey is directed by Wignot, produced by Lauren DeFilippo and edited by Annukka Lilja. Rebecca Kent was an archive producer while Naiti Gámez was director of photography and Al Malonga was a decorator. Daniel Bernard Roumain composed the music.
The document is produced by Insignia Films in association with American Masters Pictures, Ford Foundation’s JustFilms, ITVS, XTR, Impact Partners and Black Public Media. Stephen Ives, Amanda Pollak, Michael Kantor, Emily Blavatnik, Judy Kinberg, Sally Jo Fifer, Tony Hsieh, Roberto Grande, Mimi Pham, Bryn Mooser, Kathryn Everett, Jenny Raskin, Geralyn White Dreyfous and Regina K. Scully produced the executive .
The deal was negotiated by Ayo Kepher-Maat and Jeff Deutchman for NEON and Jason Ishikawa and Shane Riley of Cinetic on behalf of the filmmakers. Dogwoof manages overseas sales.
Wignot’s directing work includes the series African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross, which won the Peabody Award, the Emmy Award and the NAACP Image Award; Town hall, a documentary portrait of Tea Party activists; Honored with a Peabody Award Triangle fire; and Emmy nominated Walt whitman. Wignot’s production credits include W. Kamau Bell’s Bring pain; Musa Syeed’s Lost; and the T of WNETa Supreme Court: the Rehnquist revolution, an IDA Best Limited Series winner.