Director Lisa Cortés’ Little Richard: I Am Everything tells the story of the Black queer origins of rock n’ roll.
Exploding the whitewashed canon of American pop music to reveal the innovator – the originator – Richard Penniman.
Join us for a screening of this magnetic documentary on the life of Little Richard, followed by a conversation with the film’s director Lisa Cortes, executive producer Dee Rees, and Chair of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at NYU who appears in the film, Jason King, moderated by Emil Wilbekin, journalist and founder of Native Son.
Little Richard: I Am Everything Runtime: 1 hr 38 mins
Produced by Bungalow Media + Entertainment for CNN Films and HBO Max, in association with Rolling Stone Films, director Lisa Cortés’ Sundance opening night documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything tells the story of the Black queer origins of rock n’ roll, exploding the whitewashed canon of American pop music to reveal the innovator – the originator – Richard Penniman.
Through a wealth of archive and performance that brings us into Richard’s complicated inner world, the film unspools the icon’s life story with all its switchbacks and contradictions. In interviews with family, musicians, and cutting-edge Black and queer scholars, the film reveals how Richard created an art form for ultimate self-expression, yet what he gave to the world he was never able to give to himself.
Throughout his life, Richard careened like a shiny cracked pinball between God, sex and rock n’ roll. The world tried to put him in a box, but Richard was an omni being who contained multitudes – he was unabashedly everything.
Directed by Lisa Cortés, Little Richard: I Am Everything is produced by Robert Friedman, Cortés, Liz Yale Marsh and Caryn Capotosto, and Executive Produced by Dee Rees.
Lisa Cortés is an Academy Award–nominated and Emmy-winning producer and director renowned for creating challenging, visionary stories. The film Precious, which she executive produced, received the Sundance Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize for best drama.
All In: The Fight For Democracy, which she directed with Liz Garbus, chronicles the battle waged by Stacey Abrams against voter suppression.
Jason King is the Chair of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. A multi-talented Canadian-American scholar, journalist, author, musician, DJ, performer, producer, songwriter, radio and video host, and event curator, Jason has served in leadership positions since the founding of The Clive Davis Institute.
He was the Institute’s founding full-time faculty member, working alongside music impresario Clive Davis to help develop the program. a scholar and… King was recently named the incoming Dean of the USC Thornton School of Music.
Emil Wilbekin is a multimedia maverick who has expertise in editorial creation, content curation and multimedia storytelling (print, digital, social, video, and live events) having served as Chief Content Officer at Afropunk, Editor-at-Large at Essence, Managing Editor of Essence.com, Editor-in-Chief of Giant and Giantmag.com, Style Guru at Complex Media, VP of Brand Development at Marc Eckō Enterprises, Editorial Director/Vice President of Vibe Ventures and Editor-in-Chief of Vibe Magazine. Under Wilbekin’s leadership, Vibe won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2002.
He contributes to Architectural Digest and Town & Country and is a co-producer and writer on the documentary The Remix: Hip Hop X Fashion (Netflix). Wilbekin is the Founder of Native Son, a platform created to inspire and empower Black gay and queer men.
Free and Open to the public.
Wednesday, April 12, 6:30 PM
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, 515 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10037, 212.491.2265, https://www.nypl.org/locations/schomburg