Netflix Nabs Sundance Audience Award Winner, 'Giving Voice'

'Giving Voice'
Courtesy of Sundance

'Giving Voice'

In the documentary, set to debut on the streaming giant later this year, directors James D. Stern and Fernando Villena follow high schoolers in a monologue competition for the opportunity to perform on Broadway.

Netflix has taken the worldwide rights to Giving Voice, the Sundance Audience Award winner.

Directed by James D. Stern and Fernando Villena, Giving Voice follows six students as they compete against fellow high schoolers in the August Wilson Monologue Competition in New York City for the opportunity to perform at the August Wilson Theater on Broadway. The competition has students explore themselves and the world around them through monologues from playwright August Wilson’s cycle of ten plays focused on the Black experience in America. 

The streaming giant will release the documentary later this year.

Meanwhile, the film adaptation of Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, directed by George C. Wolfe and starring Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo and Michael Potts, will also be available to stream on Netflix later this year. 

Denzel Washington, Todd Black and Dany Wolf are producing. "This is my fifth project with Netflix and nothing thrills me more than to be able to bring Giving Voice to a place that I consider home," director Stern said in a statement.

Giving Voice is an Endgame Entertainment and Pilgrim Media Group production, in association with Endeavor Content, Impact Partners, Get Lifted Film Co. and JuVee Productions. The film was financed by Endeavor Content, Pilgrim Media Group and Impact Partners.

Stern directed the earlier documentaries Every Little Step, American Chaos, Sport in America, The Year of the Yao, … So Goes the Nation and Michael Jordan to the Max. Among the 45 films he has produced are Looper, An Education, Side Effects, I’m Not There, Snowden, The Old Man & the Gun, Murder Mystery and Bliss.

The producer credits on Giving Voice are shared by Stern, Karen Bove, Fernando Villena, Schoen Smith and Craig Piligian. Among the executive producers are Davis, Julius Tennon, John Legend, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius, Dan Cogan, Jenny Raskin, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Gretchen Stockdale, Nicholas Caprio and Constanza Romero.