US, 2015; 93 mins
From Oscar-winning documentary maven Barbara Kopple (Harlan County USA) comes this stirring story of electrifying soul singer Sharon Jones. A former New York corrections officer, Jones found fame in her 40s as the front-woman for the R&B/funk band The Dap-Kings. But in 2013, Jones was diagnosed with a serious illness. Miss Sharon Jones! follows the magnetic Jones and her close-knit family of band members through one of their most tumultuous years together, filled with highs and lows, tears and joy, and plenty of rip-roaring musical numbers. A “beautiful, touching documentary” (RogerEbert.com) and “intimate” and “rousing” (Indiewire.com), Miss Sharon Jones! is an emotional roller-coaster ride of a film and a powerful testament to one woman’s strength and resilience.
Barbara Kopple is a two-time Academy Award winning filmmaker. A director and producer of narrative films and documentaries, her two most recent projects are the documentaries Miss Sharon Jones!which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in September 2015, was the opening night film of DOC NYC and tracks the talented and gregarious soul singer of the Grammy-nominated R&B band Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings during the most challenging year of her life and Shelter which tells a story of vets saving vets, delving into the psychological trauma created by military service, the effects that remain long after active duty, and the difficult road back to a normal life for these women and men. Other recent projects include Hot Type: 150 Years of The Nation which examines America's oldest continuously published weekly magazine through the eyes of the passionate journalists who have sustained its critical voice and Running from Crazy, which premiered at Sundance in 2013 and received a 2014 Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special. Fight To Live, which through the eyes of terminal patients and their advocates tells the story of the struggles many with rare and orphan diseases face in choosing their preferred therapies through the roadblocks imposed by the current FDA approvals process. A Force of Nature, which celebrates the life and work of journalist and philanthropist Ellen Ratner, following her from her home base in Washington, DC, to hurricane-ravaged Mississippi to war-torn South Sudan; Gun Fight, which explores the place of guns in US culture, profiling victims of gun violence and proponents on both sides of the gun debate; The House of Steinbrenner, part of ESPN’s Emmy nominated “30 for 30” series, which received a 2010 Peabody Award as well as the International Documentary Association Award for Best Continuing Series; and the Emmy-nominated, Woodstock: Now and Then, a look back at the legacy of the historic music festival, 40 years later. Well known for her work on US labor issues, Barbara directed Steamfitters Local Union 638 in 2007 for HBO’s acclaimed Addiction Series. The New York Times likened this short documentary to “crisp tonic with lime.” This program was awarded the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences Governor’s Award.