20 Feet from Stardom is a 2013 American documentary film directed by documentary filmmaker Morgan Neville and produced by Gil Friesen, a music industry executive whose curiosity to know more about the lives of background singers inspired the making of the film.
|20 Feet from Stardom|
|Directed by||Morgan Neville|
|Produced by||Gil Friesen|
Michael K. Ross
|Edited by||Jason Zeldes|
|Music by||Various Artists|
Gil Friesen Productions
|Box office||$5.8 million|
The film follows the behind-the-scenes experiences of backup singers and stars Darlene Love, Judith Hill, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Tata Vega, and Jo Lawry, among many others. On March 2, 2014, it won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 86th Academy Awards, 23 years after the similar documentary In the Shadow of the Stars (which focused on the members of an opera chorus instead of its stars) won the same award.
Lisa Fischer said of backup singing: "I reject the notion that the job you excel at is somehow not enough to aspire to, that there has to be something more. I love supporting other artists." She added: "Some people will do anything to be famous. I just wanted to sing."
- Lou Adler
- Stevvi Alexander
- Patti Austin
- Chris Botti
- Ava Cherry
- Merry Clayton
- Sheryl Crow
- Lisa Fischer
- Susaye Greene
- Judith Hill
- Mick Jagger
- Mable John
- Gloria Jones
- David Lasley
- Jo Lawry
- Claudia Lennear
- Darlene Love
- Lynn Mabry
- Bette Midler
- Cindy Mizelle
- Janice Pendarvis
- Nicki Richards
- Bruce Springsteen
- Rose Stone (née Stewart)
- Tata Vega
- Martha Wash
- The Waters (Oren, Maxine and Julia Waters)
- Stevie Wonder
On January 17, 2013, the film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. At Sundance, the film was acquired by Radius-The Weinstein Company and was released nationwide on June 14, 2013. The film was also acquired for international distribution by Elle Driver / Wild Bunch. The film was screened at many film festivals in 2013 including, South by Southwest Film Festival, True/False Film Festival, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, Philadelphia Music Film Festival, RiverRun Film Festival, San Francisco Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Montclair Film Festival, among others.
The film was a box office success, grossing $4,946,445 in the domestic box office and $898,560 internationally for a worldwide total of $5,845,005.
20 Feet from Stardom received critical acclaim. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports a 99% approval rating with an average rating of 8/10 based on 128 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads "Rich, insightful, and occasionally heartbreaking, 20 Feet From Stardom is an energetic tribute to the passion, talent, and hard work of backup singers." Metacritic gave the film a score of 83 out of 100, based on 25 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".
The Ithaca Times compared the film to the 2012 book The Wrecking Crew: The Inside Story of Rock and Roll's Best-Kept Secret, which focused on uncredited studio musicians during the same era.
At the 86th Academy Awards, it won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. At the 19th Critics' Choice Awards, it also won the Best Documentary Film award. At the 2015 Grammy Awards, it won Best Music Film.
|Award / Film Festival||Category||Recipient(s)||Result|
|86th Academy Awards||Best Documentary Feature||20 Feet from Stardom – Morgan Neville, Gil Friesen, Michael K. Ross Caitrin Rogers||Won|
|AARP Annual Movies for Grownups Awards||Best Documentary||20 Feet from Stardom||Won|
|ACE Awards||Best Edited Documentary – Feature||20 Feet from Stardom – Douglas Blush, Kevin Klauber, and Jason Zeldes||Won|
|Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival||Music Documentary Audience Award||20 Feet from Stardom||Won|
|2014 Black Reel Awards||Outstanding Documentary||20 Feet from Stardom||Won|
|Outstanding Original Song||"Desperation" – Judith Hill||Won|
|2013 Chicago Film Critics Association||Best Documentary Film||20 Feet from Stardom||Nominated|
|19th Critics' Choice Awards||Best Documentary Film||20 Feet from Stardom||Won|
|2013 Dallas–Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards||Best Documentary Film||20 Feet from Stardom||Won|
|2013 Denver Film Critics Society Awards||Best Documentary Film||20 Feet from Stardom||Nominated|
|Golden Reel Awards||Best Sound Editing - Documentary Feature Film||20 Feet from Stardom – Al Nelson, Kim Foscato, and Pete Horner||Nominated|
|57th Grammy Awards||Best Music Film||20 Feet from Stardom – Morgan Neville (director), Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, and Judith Hill||Won|
|2013 Houston Film Critics Society Awards||Best Documentary Feature||20 Feet from Stardom||Won|
|29th Independent Spirit Awards||Best Documentary Feature||20 Feet from Stardom – Morgan Neville, Gil Friesen and Caitrin Rogers||Won|
|Iowa Film Critics||Best Documentary||20 Feet from Stardom||Won|
|NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Documentary – Theatrical||20 Feet from Stardom||Nominated|
|2013 National Board of Review Awards||Best Documentary||20 Feet from Stardom||Nominated|
|2013 New York Film Critics Circle Awards||Best Non-Fiction Film||20 Feet from Stardom||Nominated|
|2013 St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Awards||Best Documentary||20 Feet from Stardom||Nominated|
|2013 San Diego Film Critics Society Awards||Best Documentary Film||20 Feet from Stardom||Nominated|
|18th Satellite Awards||Best Documentary Film||20 Feet from Stardom||Nominated|
|2013 Seattle International Film Festival||Best Documentary||20 Feet from Stardom||Won|
|2013 Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards||Best Documentary||20 Feet from Stardom||Nominated|
- "20 FEET FROM STARDOM (12A)". Altitude Film Distribution. British Board of Film Classification. January 28, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
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