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20 Feet From Stardom

Vocalists from ’20 Feet From Stardom’ Doc Will Perform at Rose Bowl Game

Radius, the boutique label of The Weinstein Company, sent out a press release Sunday night announcing that back-up singers Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer and Judith Hill, who are the subjects of the documentary “20 Feet From Stardom,” will sing the “Star-Spangled Banner” on Jan. 1, 2014 at the 100th Rose Bowl Game.

These previously unheralded vocal legends will perform the song at one of the most watched television shows of the year, which can only give the film, which is on the 15 shortlisted Oscar-nominated documentary films, a major boost. It’s another savvy move by The Weinstein Company.

The press release from Radius goes on to say that this is the first time in the game’s 100-year history that the national anthem will not be performed by a participating team’s band.

Directed by Morgan Neville, “20 Feet From Stardom” has also been nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary.

The film shines a light on the stories of backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century such as Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger and Sting.

The movie opened in June and has had a box office take to date of $4,777,016.

It’s a very strong documentary field this year, and the critically acclaimed film has a good shot at the top five list although the same could be said of any of the films below. One thing’s for sure: these amazing vocalists will get the Rose Bowl game off to a terrific start, and their talents can be appreciated center stage instead of in the background.

Below are documentary features on the Oscar short list:

  • “The Act of Killing,” Final Cut for Real
  • “The Armstrong Lie,” the Kennedy/Marshall Company
  • “Blackfish,” Our Turn Productions
  • “The Crash Reel,” KP Rides Again
  • “Cutie and the Boxer,” Ex Lion Tamer and Cine Mosaic
  • “Dirty Wars,” Civic Bakery
  • “First Cousin Once Removed,” Experiments in Time, Light & Motion
  • “God Loves Uganda,” Full Credit Productions
  • “Life According to Sam,” Fine Films
  • “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer,” Roast Beef Productions
  • “The Square,” Noujaim Films and Maktube Productions
  • “Stories We Tell,” National Film Board of Canada
  • “Tim’s Vermeer,” High Delft Pictures
  • “20 Feet from Stardom,” Gil Friesen Productions and Tremolo Productions
  • “Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington,” Tripoli Street

Paula Schwartz

Paula Schwartz is a veteran journalist based in New York who is passionate about the movies. Her idea of heaven is watching three movies in a row. She’s written for various outlets, including the New York Times, Showbiz411.com, More.com and MovieMaker Magazine. For five seasons, she contributed to the New York Times seasonal movie blog, Carpetbaggers, where she covered major awards events and interviewed stars like Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman and Helen Mirren.

Paula Schwartz has written posts on Reel Life With Jane.


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