The Sundance Film Festival is poised to see its first acquisition, with Weinstein Co.'s VOD label Radius hammering out final details on a deal to buy the backup-singer documentary "Twenty Feet From Stardom," according to a person familiar with the negotiations who was not authorized to talk about them publicly.
Directed by Morgan Neville, the film centers on the musically talented but, well, unsung world of backup vocalists, spotlighting the voices that helped make songs such as "Gimme Shelter" enduring hits. "Stardom" premiered Thursday to a warm reception in Park City as one of a quartet of opening-night films.
The film puts a spotlight on vocalists including Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Tata Vega, Darlene Love and Judith Hill. It features interviews with artists including Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger, Sting, Sheryl Crow and Stevie Wonder. The movie traces how black women broke into background singing in the 1960s, and chronicles some of their efforts -- largely unsuccessful -- to build solo careers.
A Radius spokeswoman did not immediately reply to a request for comment. [Update, 3:37 pm: The company confirms the deal and says it plans a late summer release with a significant theatrical component.]