‘Joan Baez I Am a Noise’ Doc Acquired by Magnolia

The film premiered at this year’s Berlinale and also appeared at SXSW

Joan Baez
Joan Baez (CREDIT: Everett Collection)

Magnolia Pictures announced today they’ve acquired worldwide distribution rights to “Joan Baez I Am a Noise,” an exploration of the famous 1960s folk singer. The film was presented at this year’s Berlinale as well as SXSW. Magnolia has plans to give it a full-scale theatrical release in October.

The documentary, directed by Miri Navasky, Maeve O’Boyle and Karen O’Connor is being touted less as a traditional documentary and more along the lines of Brett Morgen’s 2022 film on David Bowie, “Moonage Daydream.”

In the wake of Warner Bros. “Elvis” and Morgen’s “Moonage Daydream” last year, music docs continue to see an uptick in interest. However, the exploration of female singers remains lacking. Baez is a groundbreaking figure in the 1960s folk scene with a fascinating story. Magnolia has been especially interested in propelling original content forward, even pairing with NBC streamer Peacock back in April to stream their films.

According to the official synopsis, “This immersive documentary shifts back and forth through time as it follows Joan on her final tour and delves into her extraordinary archive, including newly discovered home movies, diaries, artwork, therapy tapes, and audio recordings. Baez is remarkably revealing about her life on and off stage – from her lifelong emotional struggles to her civil rights work with MLK and a heartbreaking romance with a young Bob Dylan.”

“‘I Am a Noise’ is a beautifully cinematic exploration into the incredible life of one of our most cherished performers,” said Magnolia Pictures co-CEOs Eamonn Bowles and Dori Begley in a statement. “This is singular filmmaking presenting the story of a singular life.”

“Magnolia Pictures is the perfect home for Joan’s powerful and deeply moving story,” said Karen O’Connor. “Miri, Maeve, and I are thrilled to bring her fiercely creative and committed life to audiences across the globe.”

The film is produced by Navasky and O’Connor, and edited by O’Boyle. Executive Producers are Greg Sarris, Patti Smith, Josh Braun, Ben Braun, and Terry Press. The deal was negotiated by Magnolia co-CEO Dori Begley and SVP of Acquisitions John Von Thaden, with Josh Braun, Ben Schwartz, and Matt Burke of Submarine on behalf of the filmmakers.

“Joan Baez I Am a Noise” will debut in theaters October 6.