2020 Music Production

Here is the shortlist for our 2020’s Music Production category. Productions eligible for this category include documentaries, docudramas or fiction films featuring, for example, the history of music or biographies of musicians, singers, composers.


Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love

Director: Nick Broomfield
Archive Researcher(s): Kyle Gibbon, Lisa Savage, Simon Orman
Archival Sources: D.A. Pennebaker, Nick Broomfield, NRK Norway, National Film Board Canada, CBC Canada,
Production Company: Lafayette Film
Country of Production: United Kingdom, Greece, United States
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YoGE-TZftbw 

Synopsis: The beautiful yet tragic love story between Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse Marianne Ihlen. Their love began on the idyllic Greek island of Hydra in 1960 as part of a bohemian community of foreign artists, writers, and musicians. This film follows their relationship, from the early days on Hydra, a humble time of ‘free love’ and open marriage, to how their love evolved when Leonard became a successful musician.

FOCAL Points: Nick Broomfield’s Marianne & Leonard incorporates photographs and footage from Leonard Cohen’s early concerts, unseen archive from Cohen’s close friends and acquaintances, and footage from legendary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker, alongside sun-soaked footage of the island of Hydra.


Mystify: Michael Hutchence

Director: Richard Lowenstein
Archive Researcher(s): Lisa Savage
Archival Sources: ABC, Rhett Hutchence, Ghost/RML Productions, Hamish Cameron, Michelle Bennett
Production Company: Ghost Pictures, Passion Pictures
Country of Production: United Kingdom, Australia
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDODh7ko1Hc

Synopsis: Sophisticated and gregarious, yet shy and insecure; Michael Hutchence, the lead singer and songwriter of INXS, was a mix of contradictions. An intimate portrait of the Rock God, featuring rare archival footage of Kylie Minogue and Paula Yates, as well as interviews with the band and the Hutchence family.

FOCAL Points: INXS frontman Michael Hutchence is profiled with the aid of his own home movies, never-before-seen 35mm and 16mm footage, and rare archival footage of adjacent stars such as Kylie Minogue & Paula Yates in this intimate biopic.


Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men

Director: Sacha Jenkins
Archive Researcher(s): Vanessa Maruskin, Amilca Palmer
Archival Sources: Wu-Tang Clan Members, Associates, Family & Fans, Viacom, Michael Goldstein, Paramount, Gerald Barclay
Production Company: Mass Appeal
Country of Production: United States
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnWGixiivjQ

Synopsis: This limited docuseries looks back on the Wu-Tang Clan’s career, combining intimate and reflective interviews from each of the 9 living members with unique and often personal archival footage and performances. Their ingenuity brought them together to overcome the poverty, violence and oppression of their New York neighbourhoods. But it was music and their shared lyrical genius that allowed them to form the most recognised musical acts in the world.

FOCAL Points: This four-part docuseries produced for Showtime showcases early archival footage of the Wu-Tang Clan amongst other things, demonstrating the group’s entrepreneurial spirit and surroundings.