Ron Howard's "Made in America" documentary about the Jay Z-curated music festival in Philadelphia will air Oct. 11 on Showtime.
After Jay Z's "Budweiser Made in America" festival debuted on Labor Day weekend last year, the MC approached Oscar-winning filmmakers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard of Imagine Entertainment to produce a film chronicling the event. The documentary, which premieres at 9:00 pm ET/PT, features interviews with musicians including Gary Clark Jr., D'Angelo, Dirty Projectors, and Janelle Monae.
The acquisition was led by David Nevins, president of Showtime and former head of Imagine Television, a division also operated by Howard and Grazer. But Nevins insists to BIllboard that his interest in the film "started in such a true place. I had asked to see it because I thought it was very interesting that Ron was so excited to do a documentary at this point in his career when he's doing so many things. I was honestly pretty blown away by the film – and started asking about what the rights situation was."
Negotiations were held only a few weeks ago, Nevins added. "They were looking at a potential theatrical release and I said, 'what do you think of premiering it on Showtime?'" The pay-cable network has had recent success with music-themed films, following this spring's "History Of The Eagles," which he touts as the "second-biggest documentary anywhere on pay cable this year. It's a really a rich genre, and what I like about this film is that it's more than just about music. It really gives a snapshot of where America is right now. Ron gave it real depth."
"Made In America" will debut Sept. 7 at the Toronto International Film Festival. In a statement, the documentary has been described as a "backstage pass" to the festival and the hardscrabble success stories of the artists, vendors, and stage hands impacted by the festival.
This year's "Made In America," which kicks off Saturday, will include performances by Beyonce, Nine Inch Nails, Imagine Dragons, Deadmau5, Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. Last year, about 50,000 fans attended the festival to see artists such as Pearl Jam, Drake, Run DMC, Skrillex, D'Angelo and Calvin Harris.