‘Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am’ Documentary Acquired by Magnolia Pictures

Sundance 2019: The film, about the first African-American woman to receive the Nobel Prize premiered during the festival

Last Updated: February 19, 2019 @ 11:17 AM

Magnolia Pictures announced on Tuesday that it has landed North American rights to Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ uplifting documentary “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am.”

The documentary, about the legendary storyteller, who was the first African-American woman to receive the Nobel Prize, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

“Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,” offers an artful and intimate meditation on the life and works of the acclaimed novelist. From her childhood in the steel town of Lorain, Ohio to ’70s-era book tours with Muhammad Ali, from the front lines with Angela Davis to her own riverfront writing room, Toni Morrison leads an assembly of her peers, critics and colleagues on an exploration of race, America, history and the human condition as seen through the prism of her own literature. Inspired to write because no one took a “little black girl” seriously, Morrison reflects on her lifelong deconstruction of the master narrative.

Woven together with a rich collection of art, history, literature and personality, the film includes discussions about her many critically acclaimed works, including novels “The Bluest Eye,” “Sula” and “Song of Solomon,” her role as an editor of iconic African-American literature and her time teaching at Princeton University.

“‘Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am’ is an immensely inspirational film about a true pioneer and an essential voice for our time,” Magnolia Pictures president Eamonn Bowles said in a statement.  “Timothy’s film beautifully realizes her journey.”

In addition to Morrison, the film features conversations with such luminaries as Hilton Als, Angela Davis, Fran Lebowitz, Walter Mosley, Sonia Sanchez and Oprah Winfrey, who turned Morrison’s novel “Beloved” into a feature film.

Magnolia is targeting a theatrical release this year for the film, which recently world-premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. The film will stream on Hulu, and will have its exclusive U.S. broadcast premiere as part of the “American Masters” series in late 2020 on PBS.

“Magnolia Pictures is our dream-come-true partner for ‘Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,'” Greenfield-Sanders said in a statement. “Magnolia brilliantly brought ‘RBG’ and ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ to the theater-going-public and we are excited to screen ‘Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am’ across the country.”

The film is a production of Perfect Day Films Inc. in association with American Masters Pictures. The film was produced by Greenfield-Sanders, Johanna Giebelhaus, Chad Thompson and Tommy Walker. Michael Kantor is executive producer for American Masters Pictures.

The deal was negotiated by Magnolia EVP Dori Begley and Magnolia SVP of Acquisitions John Von Thaden with ICM Partners and Curatorial on behalf of the filmmakers.

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