• The Hollywood Reporter on LinkedIn
  • Follow THR on Pinterest

SXSW: Magnolia Pictures Nabs U.S. Rights to Hot Rock Doc 'Muscle Shoals'

Directed by Greg "Freddy" Camalier, the film centers on the legendary Muscle Shoals recording studio in Alabama, which spawned some of the greatest records of all time.

Muscle Shoals Aretha Franklin - H 2013
Aretha Franklin

Magnolia Pictures has acquired U.S. rights to Muscle Shoals, a documentary about the legendary Muscle Shoals recording studio in Alabama, which spawned some of the greatest records of all time.

Directed by Greg "Freddy" Camalier and produced by Stephen Badger and Camalier, the film features interviews with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge, Gregg Allman, Clarence Carter, Alicia Keys and Bono, among others.

The film premiered at Sundance and is debuting in Austin on Tuesday at the SXSW Film Festival.

Film Review: Muscle Shoals

The story centers on a small Alabama town by the Tennessee River where Rick Hall overcame crushing personal hardship to put together a recording studio and a house band (the Swampers) that became legendary for its electrifying musical chemistry. Luring some of the biggest figures in 20th century pop music, including Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, the Staples Singers, the Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Simon and Garfunkel, the studio produced classic songs like "Mustang Sally," "I Never Loved a Man," "Wild Horses" and many more, uniting black and white musicians in the deep South during an incendiary period of racial hostility.

"Muscle Shoals is a great accomplishment," Magnolia president Eamonn Bowles said. “It captures the elusive magic of a truly special place that birthed some of the most exciting music ever made. Music fans of all ages are going to find this story revelatory."

Added Camalier, "Stephen and I are thrilled for Muscle Shoals to find such a wonderful partner in Magnolia Pictures, who will help bring this amazing heretofore unknown tale to the world."

The deal was negotiated by Magnolia’s Dori Begley. Submarine's Josh Braun, Dan Braun and David Koh repped the filmmakers.

STORY: SXSW: 10 Must-See Music Movies

Submarine also sold U.S. TV rights to Independent Lens for broadcast on PBS and all Canadian rights to Films We Like.

"At its heart, Muscle Shoals is a social-issue doc that looks at how music transformed culture," Independent Lens senior series producer Lois Vossen said.

That deal was negotiated by Submarine along with Vossen and Films We Like president Ron Mann.

Email: Tatiana.Siegel@THR.com, Twitter: @TatianaSiegel27