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Maya Angelou project sets up Kickstarter to finish documentary

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Nell Redmond/AP

Following in the footsteps of 2014’s ultra-successful crowd-funding for a Joan Didion documentary, filmmakers seeking funding to complete a Maya Angelou documentary have started a Kickstarter page. It’s also yet another case of “I can’t believe a documentary doesn’t already exist about this person.”

Leading the project are two of Dr. Angelou’s close friends during her lifetime, Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack. “As friends from Dr. Angelou’s inner circle,” they write on the Kickstarter page, “we have been granted remarkable and unmatched access to Dr. Angelou’s life. After years of working on this film, we are honored to present her incredible journey to the rest of the world.”

Not only does the documentary seek to show the ways in which “the events of history, culture, and the arts shaped Dr. Angelou’s life and how she, in turn, helped shape our own worldview through her autobiographical literature and activism,” but the filmmakers also hope to illuminate “untold aspects of her life.”

The film will span Dr. Angelou’s life from her 1928 birth to her 2014 death. The filmmakers last interviewed her in January 2014, and the film also will feature interviews with President Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Common, and Dr. Angelou’s son, Guy Johnson. If the $150,000 funding goal is met, the documentary will premiere on PBS’s American Masters series in 2016. Part of the film’s cost, they explain, is due to licensing fees on archival footage and images, as well as the price of technical edits, mixing, and color correction.

Check out the Kickstarter trailer below, and click here to donate to the project. We don’t anticipate funding for this one will take too long — especially if Oprah is involved.

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