With highly praised original shows like “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black,” Netflix has become a viable first option for producers looking for a big audience.
The film will follow Simone’s career and dig into parts of the singer’s life that have been kept private until now. To make this possible filmmakers were given archival footage and numerous unreleased audio recordings, diary entries and letters. Simone’s daughter also signed on to help provide information, as well as some of Simone’s friends.
The film was created by a star studded team. Produced by Netflix and RadicalMedia in association with Moxie Firecracker, the film was directed by Liz Garbus and produced by Amy Hobby, Justin Wilkes, Jayson Jackson and Garbus.
“I’m thrilled that Netflix has embraced the incredible story of Nina Simone and partnered with RadicalMedia on this film,” said director Liz Garbus. “For each of her millions of fans, Nina feels like a treasured secret. With What Happened, Miss Simone? I’m excited to help bring her passion, her music, and her story to the world.”
Lisa Nishimura, Netflix’s VP of original documentary programming, spoke to Clutch Magazine about the film.
It “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.”
“Throughout her life, Nina used her powerful voice to entertain, effect change and inspire anyone who’s ever listened to one of her songs,” said Justin Wilkes, President of Media + Entertainment at RadicalMedia and a producer of the film. “It’s only fitting that Nina will once again use her voice to enchant a new generation of fans by taking center stage in the telling of her own story.”