Harvey Weinstein Gives Oscar Advice to 'Hamilton' Producer
John Gore secured strategist Amy Grey for an awards campaign after Weinstein saw his short film 'Noma: Forgiving Apartheid' and planted the seed.
A version of this story first appeared in the Sept. 11 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
John Gore — a lead investor in the current Broadway must-see hit Hamilton through his Key Brand Entertainment — has secured awards strategist Amy Grey of Dish Communications to help launch an awards campaign for a much smaller project, far from the Great White Way.
Gore produced the documentary short film Noma: Forgiving Apartheid, which follows London-based actress Noma Dumezweni as she takes a lead role in a play not knowing it will take her back to South Africa and a father she has not seen since she fled the country during apartheid 30 years prior. Adding substantial subtext is that the play based on the book A Human Being Died That Night, about legendary South African psychologist Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela and her interviews with convicted apartheid-fueled murderer Eugene De Kock.
Gore tells THR that it was Harvey Weinstein who planted the seed to launch an Oscar campaign after he saw the trailer a few months back. "That put us in a whole different place," Gore notes of his film, which just received a qualifying release in L.A. and also benefited from notes from Sean Connery. "Noma is an actress I’ve known for 20-plus years. She’s had an extraordinary career, but I never really had a deep understanding of her background, and suddenly this story emerged."
The doc inched closer to a final cut just as Hamilton was prepping to open on Broadway. "It’s been the craziest couple months of my life, frankly," Gore laughs of the musical phenomenon. "Lin-Manuel Miranda is the musical genius of our age, and I’m lucky to be involved in his show. It’s become a phenomenon and the kind of show that every American citizen will feel they have to see — it’s such a powerful piece."
But chances are you’ll have a better chance of seeing Noma because, Gore adds of Hamilton, "It’s now sold out for one year."
While Hamilton cashes in at the box office, Gore will also be prepping another doc project, though he opts to keep those details to himself.
"Originally, I was a director wanting to do good work, so that’s why something like [Noma] is great," he says, "because it exercises the bit of my brain that I don’t get to use."