About the Film
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.
DIRECTOR: Lisa Cortés
Lisa Cortés – Director Lisa Cortés is an Academy Award® nominated and Emmy-winning producer and director. In 2020, Cortés co-directed All In: The Fight For Democracy. Her upcoming film directing credits include Little Richard: I Am Everything, a documentary about the transgressive rock ‘n’ roll icon, which will premiere in the U.S. Documentary Competition section at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Also premiering at Sundance is the film Invisible Beauty, produced by Cortés, which tells the story of Bethann Hardison, a fashion revolutionary and racial justice trailblazer in her industry for over five decades. In 2020, Cortés co-directed All In: The Fight For Democracy, tracing the violent history of the voting rights struggle. Emmy-winning HBO documentary, The Apollo, (2019) which Cortés produced, explores African American cultural and political history through the story of the legendary Apollo Theater. The film Precious (2009), which she executive produced, received the Sundance Audience Award and Grand Jury Prize for best drama. Precious was nominated for six Academy Awards® and won two. Her film productions have received over 80 international awards and nominations. Cortés's early career as a music executive was launched at the iconic Def Jam label and Rush Artist Management; she also was VP of Artist & Repertoire at Mercury Records and founded the Loose Cannon label. Cortés is a member of the Producers Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She serves on the Boards of Film at Lincoln Center; Independent Television Services (ITVS); Yaddo, the celebrated artists’ community in Saratoga Springs; the Trajal Harrell Dance Company; and the DGA Focus on Women Committee.
Robert Friedman, Lisa Cortés, Liz Yale Marsh and Caryn Capotosto
EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: Dee Rees, Mike Powers, Anita May Rosentstein, Gus Wenner, Jason Fine, Amy Entelis, Courtney Sexton