Netflix is giving the greenlight to release an original documentary to focus on legendary singer and activist Nina Simone. The video streaming giant along with RadicalMedia will team up to create What Happened, Miss Simone?, a film centered on the late singer’s life. What Happened, Miss Simone?, will be directed by Oscar nominee documentarian Liz Garbus, whose credits include HBO original documentary Bobby Fischer Against The World, The Farm: Angola, USA, and Ghost of Abu Ghraib. With the blessing and cooperation of Simone’s estate, the movie will feature over 100 hours of audio recordings never released before, spanning 30 years.
In the recordings, Simone, who died in 2003, at the age of 70, discusses in her own words her life story with numerous journalists and interviewers. According to Variety, the documentary will showcase rare footage of Simone in concert along with interviews, letters and diaries from the jazz great’s daughter Lisa Simone Kelly. Friends and colleagues of Simone’s will also take part in the project, talking about their relationship with the, “High Priestess of Soul”. Netflix VP of Original Documentary Programming, Lisa Nishimura said in a released statement:
In What Happened, Miss Simone?, Liz Garbus paints a brave and provocative picture of Nina Simone – artist, civil rights activist and heroine – in a film that we’ve loved from day one and are proud to bring to our viewers around the world.
The film is a welcomed treat to Simone fans, who were left outraged by a biopic of her life with actress Zoe Saldana in the lead role, sporting an afro wig and dark make up. The was to be released this year, but hasn’t sealed a distribution deal.
Nishimura, Simone Kelly, Adam Del Deo (The Square) and Sidney Beaumount (Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory) will serve as executive producers for the film.
What Happened, Miss Simone? Is slated to be released worldwide on Netflix, 2015.