From Whitney Houston and Christina Aguilera to Alicia Keys and Kelly Clarkson, Clive Davis crafted some of the most iconic careers in pop music history, and now a documentary about his life, Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, will take center stage as the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival’s opening night film.
The nonfiction project, directed by Chris Perkel, will have its world premiere at the top of the festival’s 11-day run Wednesday, April 19 at Radio City Music Hall. A special concert featuring performances by Aretha Franklin, Jennifer Hudson, and Earth, Wind & Fire will follow the film’s inaugural screening.
Based on Davis’ 2013 autobiography, the film follows how he rose from humble beginnings to become one of the music industry’s most influential figures. Following the death of his parents while a teenager, Davis earned full academic scholarships to New York University and Harvard Law, briefly working as a lawyer before transitioning into the music business, where he became the president of Columbia Records at the age of 35. Shortly thereafter, he discovered acts like Janis Joplin, Santana, and Aerosmith, setting in motion a career trajectory that would ultimately provide “the soundtrack for three generations of American culture” as he nurtured artists like Hudson, Franklin, Simon & Garfunkel, Bruce Springsteen, The Kinks, Rod Stewart, and Dionne Warwick, according to the film’s official synopsis.
“Directing this film provided a wonderful challenge because Clive Davis stands at the center of a culture-defining array of talent that has shaped the last half-century of contemporary music,” Perkel said in a statement. “His is an inspiring story that’s sure to leave you with a smile on your face, a tug at your heart, and a playlist of hits forever stuck in your head.”
Michael Bernstein of Scott Free Productions produced the film alongside executive producers Ridley Scott, Mary Lisio, Stuart Ford, David Schulhof, and Deborah Zipser.
The Soundtrack of Our Lives joins Tribeca’s growing list of titles that have kicked off the event since its 2002 inception, including works of fiction by Woody Allen (Whatever Works) and Paul Greengrass (United 93) along with documentaries about famed television shows (Live From New York!) and prominent entertainers (Nas: Time is Illmatic).
Tribeca’s full feature film slate will be announced in early March. The festival’s 16th edition, presented by AT&T, runs from April 19-30 in New York City. Check out Davis’ video message regarding the film above, and for ticketing information about the upcoming event, visit Tribeca’s website here.