Universal Music Relaunching Polygram, Announces 'Story of Motown' as First Production

Universal Music Group logo.
Courtesy of UMG

Universal Music Group logo.

Universal Music Group (UMG) is relaunching Polygram Entertainment in an effort to boost its film and television strategy, the company announced Saturday (Feb. 11). Polygram’s first production will be The Story of Motown, a documentary about historical and cultural impact of the iconic record label.

In addition to The Story of Motown, Polygram will also develop and produce feature films and television, including scripted and unscripted productions, as well as financing documentaries. The company is currently financing and co-producing Mystify, a film that follows the life of INXS frontman Michael Hutchence. Last September, Polygram and Studio Canal co-distributed the Ron Howard-directed film The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years.

Polygram is led by UMG’s head of film & television development and production David Blackman. He reports to UMG executive VP Michele Anthony and Universal Music Publishing Group chairman/CEO Jody Gerson.

“Polygram will play an important role in furthering UMG’s global strategy to produce the very best in audio-visual storytelling and provide our artists with an important medium for their expression and creativity,” Anthony said in a statement. “Music is essential to film and television -- and the stories surrounding our artists and their music provide compelling narratives for audiences around the world.”

Gerson adds: “With Polygram, our multi-talented recording artists and songwriters will have even greater opportunities to work with the very best storytellers, writers, producers and directors in film and television. With David’s strong creative instincts and production experience, Polygram will enable new outlets for music-based programming, as well as provide a needed forum for stories about the artists, music and events that have shaped and impacted culture globally.”

UMG’s recent credits include AMY, the 2015 documentary about Amy Winehouse, and Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, a 2015 documentary on the Nirvana frontman’s life and death.