We’ve announced a deal with Sky to bring two of our key female-focused factual titles to audiences across the U.K. Celebrating the achievements of remarkable women, the fascinating documentaries How It Feels To Be Free and First Ladies will make their U.K. debut on 8th March 2021, on Sky Arts and on Sky Documentaries respectively in order to mark International Women’s Day.
How It Feels To Be Free is a timely documentary produced by Yap Films and executive produced by Alicia Keys, Lacey Schwartz Delgado, Mehret Mandefro and Elizabeth Trojian. Originally launched on PBS in the U.S., the documentary will appear on Sky Arts in the U.K., now free for everyone to watch on Freeview Channel 11. Based on the book How It Feels To Be Free: Black Women Entertainers and the Civil Rights Movement by Ruth Feldstein and directed by award-winning filmmaker Yoruba Richen, this unmissable documentary event reveals how six black women harnessed their celebrity to change history, advancing the civil rights movement and reshaping the narrative of black female identity in Hollywood. This seminal film explores the lives of singer, dancer and actress Lena Horne; jazz, blues and folk singer Nina Simone; jazz vocalist, songwriter and actress Abbey Lincoln; Tony-winning actress, singer and model Diahann Carroll; actress and model Cicely Tyson; and actress Pam Grier, featuring previously unseen archival performances and interviews. We also see original conversations with superstars of today reflecting on their legacy, including Alicia Keys, Halle Berry, Lena Waithe, Meagan Good, LaTanya Richardson Jackson and Samuel L. Jackson, supported by family members, including Horne’s daughter Gail Lumet Buckley. Following the documentary’s recent launch on documentary Channel in Canada, The Globe and Mail called How It Feels To Be Free, “…a scorcher, a fabulous journey to that place where art and activism meet in the stories of these Black women artists.”
Launching on Sky Documentaries is First Ladies, which is narrated by Golden Globe-winning actress Robin Wright and profiles Michelle Obama, Jacqueline Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson, and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Blending in-depth interviews, rare archival footage and cinematic recreations; the six-part docuseries (which is a CNN Original Series produced by October Films) is a bold revision of each woman’s traditional portrayal, revealing how they were impacted during their time in the White House, and how their achievements fundamentally shaped American and global history. The series’ launch on CNN in the U.S. was CNN’s best Original Series season premiere since 2016 in total viewers, with The Wall Street Journal commenting that “…the astonishingly detailed portraits in First Ladies are distinguished in their scholarship, mesmerizing in their drama.”
How It Feels To Be Free and First Ladies are distributed internationally by Fremantle.