*Phase 4 Films acquired North American distribution rights to “Made In America,” a concert film about Jay Z’s inaugural 2012 Made in America Festival.
The film is Ron Howard’s first documentary, which he made in partnership with Jay Imagine Entertainment’s Brian Grazer and Jay Z.
CAA brokered the U.S. rights deal on behalf of the filmmakers, according to Deadline.com. The film premiered in Toronto and follows the rap mogul as he plans the Budweiser Made in America Festival, a concert event with musicians including Drake, Pearl Jam, Run-DMC, The Hives, Passion Pit, Calvin Harris, Janelle Monáe and Skrillex that grossed $5 million in ticket sales and drew 80,000 fans in Philadelphia.
Janelle Monae performs at the Made in America Festival (2012)
The film will be released in the summer. Imagine produced with Jay Z’s Marcy Media and RadicalMedia, in association with Participant Media. Showtime had TV rights and aired it last month.
“This is not a concert film but rather a reflection of the fabric of what it means to be Made in America — what the festival represents, why Jay is doing it, and how he relates to each artist,” Howard said. “Made In America is intended to showcase Jay Z’s struggle for success and illustrate how he has become a voice and an icon for a generation of driven and creative youth.”
*VH1 has set February 2014 for the premiere of its latest “rock doc,” although it’s rap and not rock music that’s at the center of this 4-part documentary.
“The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip Hop,” based on Steve Stoute’s bestseller The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created A Culture That Rewrote The Rules Of The New Economy, takes a trip down memory lane to examine how hip-hop culture influenced music, film, television, fashion, business, race relations and the politics that opened the door for Obama’s America, reports Deadline.com.
“Tanning” in this case is a phrase coined by Stoute for the deep-rooted influence traditionally African-American hip-hop has had on pop culture from “The Jeffersons” to “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” to Spike Lee’s “Do the Right Thing” to Eminem’s “8 Mile.”
Billy Corben (Cocaine Cowboys, 30 for 30‘s Broke and The U) directed the doc with Alfred Spellman producing, nabbing interviews with Diddy, Dr Dre, Mariah Carey, Will.i.am, Russell Simmons, Pharrell, Nas, Reverend Run, Rick Rubin, Fab 5 Freddy, Jimmy Iovine, Al Sharpton, Cory Booker, Brett Ratner, Brian Grazer, Tommy Hilfiger, Ron Howard, Stoute and more.
*Ron Howard will debut the “Made in America” documentary about the Jay Z-curated music festival in Philadelphia Oct. 11 on Showtime.
Close to 50,000 fans attended Jay-Z’s “Budweiser Made in America” festival on Labor Day weekend last year. The two day event included performers such as Pearl Jam, Drake, Run DMC, Skrillex, D’Angelo and Calvin Harris.
The year’s festival kicks of this weekend with performances from Beyonce, Nine Inch Nails, Imagine Dragons, Deadmau5, Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
Howard’s documentary serves as a backstage pass to the event, which showcases performers sharing stories of how they are “making it in America.”
It will debut Sept. 7 at the Toronto International Film Festival.
*Gayle King, Al Roker, Ne-Yo, Mark Hamill, Robin Williams and Rahm Emanuel were among the celebrities spotted in Chicago on Saturday to celebrate the wedding of George Lucas and Windy City native Mellody Hobson.
The couple, who tied the knot June 22 at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, Calif., hosted well-wishers at the city’s lakeside Promontory Point under a huge tent, where Prince and his 22-piece band provided the music.
CNN contributor Van Jones, Jesse Jackson, “Star Wars” prequel star Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson were also in attendance.
“They wrote a check to the city for the whole thing,” said a police officer on duty, as he shooed rubberneckers from a pathway that overlooked carts shuttling guests from the check-in desk. Those spotted at the main gate tilted towards Chicago political and business figures from the Hobson side of the aisle — with assorted TV news personalities from national outlets.
Hobson, the chair of DreamWorks Animation and head of the Chicago-based investment management firm Ariel Investments and chairman of Ariel Mutual Funds, also contributes financial analysis for CBS News.
Other attendees included Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker; former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley; his brother Bill, now running for Illinois governor; former White House Social Secretary Van Jones, Jesse Jackson, “Star Wars” prequel star Hayden Christensen and Rachel Bilson, who is now CEO of Johnson Publishing Company; University of Chicago president Robert Zimmer; Chicago Metropolis 2020’s Paula Wolff; radio host Tom Joyner; former Congressman Harold Ford Jr.; and Patrick Daley, a classmate of Hobson’s from St. Ignatius College Prep.
Actor Andrew Shue, Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast Tina Brown, CNN pundit Paul Begala and MSNBC PoliticsNation host Rev. Al Sharpton were also in attendance at the event.
Singer Ne-Yo spotted at the wedding party of George Lucas and Mellody Hobson in Chicago
The Hyde Park neighborhood, which hosted the event, is the site of the University of Chicago and was President Barack Obama’s home prior to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
The Chicago Tribune reported the reception was organized by New York party planner Van Wyck & Van Wyck, who has previously overseen bashes for Sean “Diddy” Combs, Alicia Keys, Hillary Clinton and Barack and Michelle Obama.
Guests staying at the Chicago Peninsula Hotel found a gift bag awaiting them Friday. The bags were filled with some of the couple’s “favorite local flavors,” which included chocolate cookies from Carol’s Cookies, popcorn from Garrett Popcorn, and Marshall Field’s Original Frango Mints. There were also Skywalker Ranch hats, T-shirts and a tote.
Last weekend, Bill Moyers officiated a ceremony for the couple, which was attended by Ron Howard, Oprah Winfrey, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Steven Spielberg. The couple made their engagement public in January.
Watch local news coverage of the event from ABC below.
*May the force be with “Star Wars” creator George Lucas and Mellody Hobson.
The longtime couple were married on Saturday at the filmmaker’s Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, Calif, his rep confirmed to People.
Samuel L. Jackson who played Jedi Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequels, was excited about the nuptials. “Let’s give a Galactic shout out to Master George Lucas & his Bride Melodie on This their WEDDING DAY!!” he tweeted. “Congrats!!!!!!”
Ron Howard was also happy for the newlyweds, tweeting, “George Lucas Melody Hobson wedding was joy to behold Bill Moyers service was beautiful, nothing short of profound. Congrats Mr&Mrs Lucas”
Hobson, 44, explained to Oprah Winfrey last year what makes her relationship with Lucas, 69, a success. “I think it works because we are extraordinarily open-minded people and we’re open to what the universe brings us,” she said. “I think we didn’t have preconceived ideas about what a partnership should be and so we allowed ourselves to discover something that was unexpected.”
Jay-Z and Steve Stoute, both co- producers, will work in tandem with the Oscar- winning duo to document the entire festival and its 40-plus performers.
“The festival showcases 20 pre-eminent artists that speak to the new generation,” Grazer told the New York Post about the project. “I am producing the film with Steve Stoute and Jay. Ron is directing. It is going to be born through Jay-Z’s perspective… how he puts the event together.”
Grazer believes documenting the festival will solidify the Brooklyn-native as the phemon he’s grown to become throughout the ages.
“Jay stayed the king for a very long time… I can’t even begin to explain how he is capable of remaining relevant. He is a phenom, like a musical Michael Jordan.”
‘Made in America’ will be held in Philadelphia on September 1 and 2. Among the performers booked so far: Drake, Pearl Jam, Run-DMC, Skrillex, Rick Ross, Miike Snow, Odd Future and Janelle Monáe.